My major criticisms of the government's food recommendations are: 1) They are too influenced by industries (dairy industry and General Mills, specifically), 2) They perpetuate false ideas such as "low-fat is good for you", 3) They fail to acknowledge a "gold standard" for nutrition focusing instead on how much of certain nutrients will "prevent disease" (scurvy, rickets, beri-beri, etc), leading to criticism #4) The current guidelines are severely deficient in whole vegetables and fruits and allow for ignorant substitutions (like fruit juice to count the same as a whole fruit).
This brings me to the largest of all my criticisms which is the focus of the attached article: Nutritionists and dieticians have chosen to focus on nutrients rather than whole, quality foods. This approach has helped push the US to the current levels of diseases we suffer from in the US - Heart Disease, Cancer, obesity, depression, and especially Diabetes plus more.
Here is my "best of" from this great article:
"The proportion of total energy from fat appears largely unrelated to risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, or obesity"
"Countless highly processed products are now marketed in which refined carbohydrate replaces fat, providing an aura of healthiness but without actual health benefits."
"Despite its initial appeal, attempts to extend the nutrient deficiency–based approach for prevention of chronic diseases have been problematic. The RDAs are methodologically and conceptually inappropriate for this purpose..."
"Saturated fat...has little relation to heart disease within most prevailing dietary patterns."
"Typical recommendations to consume at least half of total energy as carbohydrate, a nutrient for which humans have no absolute requirement, conflate foods with widely divergent physiologic effects (eg, brown rice, white bread, apples)."
"...little of the information found on food labels’ 'nutrition facts' panels provides useful guidance for selecting healthier foods to prevent chronic disease."
Steve's comment: EAT FOODS NOT NUTRIENTS!!! But the industries REALLY don't like when the government gives advice to eat apples and carrots and avoid their processed junk that parades as health food!
A fantastic book you should read (or listen to) to get a good understanding of the inadequacies of a nutrient-based approach is In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.