Another View of Why You're Fat

food pyramid and subsidies chart
Stephen McDaniel at Freakalytics

After I posted about the inverse correlation between between subsidies and federal nutrition guidelines I learned a few things about statistics and the power of the internet. I didn't really understand commenter Sam's suggestion that the "chart-oon is a good example of terrible info-graphics gutting information of its power" until I followed his link and found the above graphs amongst a number of other submissions prompted by a challenge to rework the data called by Nathan on the FlowingData website.

Stephen McDaniel's interpretation of the data above is the most straightforward, but it's his further extrapolation of the numbers that I really like.
In the following chart McDaniel rearranges the numbers to show how the feds would have to adjust ag subsidy spending to actually get it in line with the federal nutrition guidelines.


Stephen McDaniel at Freakalytics

A 900% increase to fruit and veggie subsidies would be nice, but highly unlikely. It's really tough for big ag to make money off of perishable whole foods like these. Potato, ketchup, and salsa aside.

For some reason the original double pyramid chart has resurfaced with a vengeance across the net years after it was first published and TreeHugger Christine told us about it. It's one of those visual cues that you "get" right away. And while Nathan @ FlowingData and the rest of you stats gurus may cringe at the "funky presentation" I think no matter how it's presented the point has been made.

(Thanks for the tip on the FlowingData challenge Sam.)

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