Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sketchy Nutricional Advice from ""

Pictured above is the MyPyramid, created by the USDA in 2005
to push for a balanced diet and increased physical activity
If you haven't heard of it, MyPyramid was the USDA's failed attempt to push for more exercise and physical activity. While I applaud the government for its efforts, obesity is still very much on the rise. In an effort to come up with a better system, MyPyramid was replaced by MyPlate. I didn't know that, and nor did my health teacher when he asked us to search for it today during class.

Look at the screenshot below:

Notice that the first result is called "My Pyramid Plan." Almost anyone searching for MyPyramid would go ahead and click it, assuming that it's what they are looking for. It's been several years since I last logged onto the MyPyramid site, but everything looked consistent with how I remembered it. The site quickly promoted me to enter generic information about my age and physical activity. 

I knew something was not right when "greater than eleven minutes" was the highest option for daily physical activity. My first thought was that we must be a very obese nation, much more than I had originally thought if getting eleven minutes of physical activity is considered good. If I remember correctly, "greater than sixty minutes" used to be the top choice, but I do know that the government has been trying to scale back some of its overly ambitious health goals as they've failed, one by one.

Next I was taken to a page with general information about each food group. Everything on this page was a direct contradiction of anything I have ever heard about nutrition. 

Here's and example from the fruit section: 
          "...Some fruits can be rather tart or tangy, so a smart way to make these more appealing to children is to           
            select products with added sweetners."

Now from the meat section:
          "Liver and other organ meats are high in cholesterol. Just so you know. But who eats those creepy parts
           anyways, right?

Liver is actually extremely good for you, although I do find it revolting.

Finally, take a look at the "about" page:
Screenshot from the "About us" page.
So at this point, I know something is up. Could this site have been hacked? It seems to be mocking the government, and it would not be the first time a government website has been hit (i.e., the CIA). No, this site has not been hacked. Through a WHOIS domain search, I found out that the domain "" is in fact legally owned by Stephen Eisenmenger out of Minneapolis. Notice that he has a .org domain, not a .gov domain. Who would have noticed that, especially with it being the first search result? I sure didn't.

While I was at it, I thought I might see what else was going on at other .org and .com websites with similar names to official government ones. If you go to, you'll notice adds for "Beautiful Spanish Girls," or "Top 10 Dating Sites of 2013." Hmmm...

I'm glad the President is making a point about increasing our cyber defenses. I think one way to start would be buying domains similar to .gov ones so as to not deceive American citizens. Someone could easily set up a fake government website and fool you into giving up personal information. Even high level government officials were fooled into giving their GMail passwords to Chinese hackers.

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