Over 60% of US agricultural subsidies support directly and indirectly the meat and dairy production. Less than 1% has gone to fruits and vegetables. The USDA's new My Plate icon couldn't be more at odds with federal food subsidies, advising Americans to limit high-fat products like meat and cheese, while the federal government is subsidizing these very products with billions of tax dollars and giving almost no support to fruits and vegetables. Congress has to reform the Farm Bill to support healthy diets.
The protein portion of the USDA's MyPlate should come from plant source, such as beans, whole grains, and vegetables. Also, we can do without the dairy products, which are packed with fat and cholesterol and may increase the risk of health problems ranging from asthma, allergies, to some types of cancer. There are many more healthful sources of calcium besides dairy.
Since the USDA’s first Food Pyramid was introduced nearly two decades ago, obesity and diabetes have become commonplace. About 27 percent of young adults are now too overweight to qualify for military service, and an estimated one in three children born in 2000 will develop diabetes. More than 60 percent of the deaths in the United States are caused by heart disease, cancer, and other diet-related diseases. Approximately 68 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. In 2008, the direct medical costs associated with obesity added up to $147 billion.