Benign dietary guidelines followed by dismal performance

USDA Dietary Guidelines 2010. How are we doing?

The only thing worse than the guidelines themselves is the dismal score that Americans have achieved when measured against them. Even if everyone followed them exactly as written, we’d still have millions of obese and unhealthy citizens. But, we as a nation are not even coming close to following even those extremely weak guidelines.

And why do you think that is? My view has to do with my ongoing theme of “confusion over clarity” that totally dominates everything we see or hear about what we should be eating or not eating. The information that we hear from the media is so routinely contradictory that no one takes any of the information seriously. The fact that the information changes every day just helps every citizen rationalize to herself that no one really knows what I should be eating, so I’ll just fill up on what I crave and hope that my vitamin supplements will take care of whatever I am missing.

Our steadily rising rates of obesity and diabetes are a constant reminder of the shortcomings of that routine practice. And they are steady reminders that our nation, and indeed the Western world, is in a serious crisis that is begging for clarity.

Obviously our government is not giving us that clarity and our performance against their guidelines is living proof. Check out this report that was recently reviewed by Dr. Michael Greger on his website at For example, 99% of Americans don’t even eat the minimum recommended whole grains. Dr. Greger tells the whole sad story in this 3-minute video.

What is needed is a simple, clear and consistent message: Eat more whole plants if you want to be achieve vibrant health & your ideal weight and avoid all forms of chronic disease. Relizing that message will not be coming along anytime soon from the various governments of the developed nations, that leaves the responsibility in our hands — those of us who have joined the “great food revolution of the twenty-first century.” Now all we need is a well-funded international leader to pick up the mantle and help propel us forward.

Authors J. Stanfield Hicks and J. Morris Hicks , working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

You might be wondering how we got into such a mess in the first place. We tell that story in our book; you can also read a condensed version of it here on our Big Picture Page.

If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at

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About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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1 Response to Benign dietary guidelines followed by dismal performance

  1. cacatua21 says:

    We HAVE been consistantly what to eat by advertisers, and most have taken their advice it seems!

    I’m 61, and have all my life had a craving for the whole grains especially, but I was raised eating white bread, which perhaps was why I was craving something with nourishment instead of empty calories! A good slice of 100% whole wheat bread is as appealing to me as a steak may be to a meat eater.

    I feel really liberated by ditching the toxic animal produce that is the norm these days and relying on the true nourishment from plant-based whole foods. The sugar from a fresh piece of fruit is refreshing, without the cloying sweetness of refined sugar, and without cosuming the daily ration of fats from various sources that I was accustomed to I no longer get heartburn or digestive upsets. Don’t get Prevacid – change your diet! Fats that I do get are in nuts and seeds and other plant sources and they all come with nutritional value as part of the total package. The same with the sugars – nutrients included!

    It does take a while to readjust to cooking differently, because we have been so used to the whole meal revolving around meat and dairy products. If you don’t like using recipes, like myself, and have to pick up the reading glasses every time you consult a recipe then this can make you a little crazy, but I survived. I don’t like to keep replicating meat either. I’d rather discover just how to make the most out of what the plant world has to offer, and there is much more variety in the plant world than the meat world once you get the meat out of the way. Plus it is guiltless eating on so many levels!

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