Sage, Ink: Eating Right

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

This week, the federal government released a new set of dietary guidelines, recommending a significant reduction in the consumption of sugar and advising men and teen boys to cut back on meat. While the hope is that the recommendations will help Americans to eat better, some note that the government has been fine-tuning and updating its dietary advice for years, while obesity rates have escalated. (Meanwhile, some are already criticizing the new guidelines as too vague.)

The cartoon below originally appeared in 2004, when the USDA issued a call for improvements to the then-prevailing “Food Guide Pyramid.”