Lucky charms are not ranked as healthier than steak on the food pyramid

Joe Rogan and others shared a graphic that ranks lucky charms as healthier than steak. But it’s not a food pyramid endorsed by the federal government.

Most of us know that lucky charms are magically delicious. But did the federal government say breakfast cereal is healthier than steak? Some people on social media are claiming that a new federal food pyramid says it is.

Podcaster Joe Rogan shared the claim in a Jan. 14 Instagram post, which has since received more than 900,000 likes. Rogan’s post features a graph that ranks certain foods, with lucky charms being ranked higher than ground beef.

The claim that was also shared Facebook and Twittercomes from a Blog post on with the headline “New federally funded ‘food pyramid’ says lucky charms are healthier than steak.”


Does a federally funded food pyramid rank lucky charms as healthier than steak?



That's wrong.

No, a government-funded food pyramid does not rank lucky charms as healthier than steak.


Although a graphic shared online ranks lucky charms over ground beef, it’s not a new food pyramid.

The food pyramid, a nutrition guide created and published by the federal government, was a representation of food groups that make up a healthy diet. But as of 2011, there is no food pyramid in the United States, said Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokeswoman Whitney Linsenmeyer.

In 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) replaces the food pyramid with my plate. The nutrition guide, illustrated in the form of a plate, focuses on eating a good portion of fruit, vegetables, protein and dairy and has remained unchanged since 2011. He doesn’t compare steak to breakfast cereal like good luck charms.

The chart that ranks good luck charms, ground beef, and other foods is from a Research report from February 2022 Written by a handful of nutritionists.

The paper rated food compass, a rating system that rates foods on a scale of 1-100 based on their health. Food Compass was developed by researchers at Tufts University.

Ty Beal, a nutritionist and one of the authors of the research paper, told VERIFY that the graph shared online was created with “values ​​straight from” Food Compass to “point out flaws in the system”.

The graph shows lucky charms scored 60 and labeled “to moderate,” while ground beef received a score of 26 and was labeled “to minimize.” Steak itself is not explicitly mentioned in the table.

Beal and the other authors criticized Food Compass in their article, writing in part that the system’s algorithm and “weighting of various components” is a “conceptually impressive effort” but “is not well justified and produces results that are not universally discriminatory.” deficiencies in nutrients, exaggerate the risks associated with animal-based foods and underestimate the risks associated with highly processed foods.”

“We caution against using Food Compass in its current form to inform consumer choices, policies, programs, industry reformulations and investment decisions,” the authors wrote.

In response to criticism of Food Compass, Dariush Mozaffarian, lead author of two scientific papers on Food Compass, told VERIFY the system has evaluated 58,000 products and “is working well”. He added that “people who eat foods with higher levels have better health: less obesity, lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, better blood cholesterol levels, less metabolic syndrome, and lower risk overall.” [causes of] Death.”

“One of its greatest strengths is the negative assessment of processed foods as well as refined grains and starches. For example, breakfast cereals high in refined grains score very low on the Food Compass,” he said. “It is unfortunate that some on social media have highlighted the few results where Food Compass can be further improved, rather than the many results where it works well. This exaggerates controversy rather than highlighting all areas of agreement.”

Tufts researchers “have not ‘cleared’ Food Compass for immediate implementation,” Mozaffarian said.

“It’s still being researched, and we’re continuing to refine and update it,” he added.

Government-sponsored Food Compass

The research leading to the development of Food Compass was funded in part by a grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, part of the federal government’s National Institutes of Health.

But the authors of a 2021 Food Compass Paper Note that his funders “played no role in study design, data collection, data analysis or interpretation, drafting of the manuscript, or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.”

The nutrition compass also has nothing to do with the nutritional recommendations of the federal government.

The USDA and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) work together to issue dietary guidelines for Americans, with the latest guidelines covering the 2020-2025 period. A summary of these guidelines Emphasizes “nutritious food and drink choices,” but doesn’t pit individual foods like lucky charms and steak against each other.

the TO VERIFY Team works to separate fact from fiction so you can understand what is true and what is false. Please consider subscribing to our Daily Newsletter, text notifications and our YouTube channel. You can continue to follow us Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and tick tock. Learn more “

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Laura Coffey

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