You have to log on to stay healthy

The US Department of Agriculture has launched a new food pyramid. It’s actually kind of cool. They have an introductory video and a separate site that allows you to track your own food intake over the year compared to your level of physical activity. Usually, the US government is a fairly slow innovator when it comes to technology–a late adopter–but this time it’s ahead in terms of promoting public health.

However, as a Washington Post article reports, you have to log on to stay healthy. Considering that obesity is concentrated among the poor, the people most likely to benefit from something like this may be the least likely to access it.

3 Responses to “You have to log on to stay healthy”

  1. jennifer says:

    Isn’t there also an association between obesity and high levels of computer use? This may be just be a social construction inside my head, but i often associate people that spend 20 hours a day at a computer as being obese… no offense to anyone here – none of you are obese anyway!

  2. Jean-Sebastien says:

    There is apparently some research going on about computer games where as part of the game
    you have to cycle. This aims at encouraging computer gaming enthousiast to exercise more.

  3. sieber says:

    The critiques of the computer component keep coming in. This from Salon:

    But the pyramid itself lists no foods, requiring those motivated — and patient enough — to delve into the related Web site to find out how much and what they should actually eat. Based on a person’s age, gender and activity level, the site will (theoretically) serve up one of 12 different recommended plans.

    “It appears to me that there is a ton of great information on the Web site, if people have access to the Internet and can take the time to really investigate, and are interested enough to read the information,” said Dr. R. Elaine Turner, assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Florida.

    But those are some big ifs. “For one thing, you have to have a computer,” says Marion Nestle, author of “Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Health and Nutrition.” “Well, that cuts out a pretty significant segment of the population. This is dietary advice for people who have computers. And that is the segment of the population that probably needs it least.”