Food preferences, cooking ability, involvement of children in food preparation, nutritional knowledge, and prior familiarity with MyPyramid were predictors of MyPlate awareness and use
Mothers who were familiar with MyPlate were more health conscious and were more likely to love vegetables and involve their children in meal preparation
Using MyPlate can be helpful for eating healthy on-the-go and in restaurants
To help your family be more health conscious, involve kids in meal preparation and make trying new vegetables a priority
Tools & Resources
Feel free to download and use any of the graphics, illustrations, videos, and resources on this page for educational purposes. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Most Americans know about MyPyramid – the triangle depicting how many servings of each food group you should eat in a day - but who knows about MyPlate - the circle showing what a healthy meal looks like? MyPlate was created in 2011 by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help American consumers put the Dietary Guidelines into practice. It’s a simple, colorful icon that prompts us to think about what’s on our plate, illustrating healthy proportions of fruit, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy within a single meal.
Dr. Brian Wansink of Cornell University and Dr. Sibylle Kranz of Purdue University wanted to find out who “got the memo” about MyPlate first – that is, who became familiar with MyPlate within 3 months of its release. In particular, the researchers were interested in mothers, who play the role of “nutritional gatekeeper” in most families, and what traits these trendsetting mothers had in common with each other. A national on-line survey was completed by 497 moms, ranging in age from 18 to 65, including questions about their demographics, knowledge, attitudes, and behavior.
Of these 497 moms, 46 moms were familiar with MyPlate (9% of those surveyed), 105 were somewhat familiar (21%), and 349 were not familiar (70%). Some interesting patterns emerged from the analysis of their survey responses. First, moms were more likely to be familiar with MyPlate if they already knew about MyPyramid. Second, moms who found MyPlate easy to understand and relevant to their lives were more likely to see its potential to help their families eat better. Third, moms who adopted MyPlate were more likely to be “vegetable lovers” and to involve their kids in preparing family meals. Moms loved veggies for a variety of reasons – not only because they are good for you, but also because they can improve the taste of the entrees they’re served with and make meals feel like special family occasions.
So, what can the rest of us learn from these trendsetting MyPlate moms?
• Download paper from the SSRN (the Social Science Research Network)
Other Interesting Articles on Compensation
Dijksterhuis, A. (2004). Think Different: The Merits of Unconscious Thought in Preference Development and Decision Making. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 586-598.
Dijksterhuis, A., Bos, M. W., Nordgren, L. F., & Van Baaren, R. B. (2006). On Making the Right Choice: The Deliberation-Without-Attention Effect. Science, 311, 1005-1007.
Fillingim, R. B., Roth, D. L., & Haley, W. E. (1989). The effects of distraction on the perception of exercise-induced symptoms. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 33, 241-248.
Fishbach, A., & Dhar, R. (2005). Goals as Excuses or Guides: The Liberating Effect of Perceived Goal Progress on Choice. Journal of Consumer Research, 32, 370-377.
Karageorghis, C. I., & Terry, P. C. (1997). The psychophysical effects of music in sport and exercise: A review. Journal of Sport Behavior, 20, 54.
Khan, U., & Dhar, R. (2006). Licensing Effect in Consumer Choice. Journal of Marketing Research, 43, 259-266.
King, N. A. (1999). What processes are involved in the appetite response to moderate increases in exercise-induced energy expenditure? Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 58, 107-113.
King, N. A., Snell, L., Smith, R. D., & Blundell, J. E. (1996). Effects of short-term exercise on appetite responses in unrestrained females. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 50, 663-667.
Kivetz, R., & Zheng, Y. (2006). Determinants of justification and self-control. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 135, 572-587.
Lerouge, D. (2009). Evaluating the Benefits of Distraction on Product Evaluations: The Mind-Set Effect. Journal of Consumer Research, 36, 367-379.
Lichtman, S.W., Pisarska, K., Berman, E.R., Pestone, M., Dowling, H., Offenbacher, E., Weisel, H., Heshka, S., Matthews, D.E., & Heymsfield, S.B. (1992). Discreptency between self-reported and actual caloric intake and exercise in obese subjects. New England Journal of Medicine, 327 (27), 1893-1898.
Martins, C., Morgan, L. M., Bloom, S. R., & Robertson, M. D. (2007). Effects of exercise on gut peptides, energy intake and appetite. Journal of Endocrinology, 193, 251-258.
Nowlis, S. M., & Shiv, B. (2005). The Influence of Consumer Distractions on the Effectiveness of Food-Sampling Programs. Journal of Marketing Research (JMR), 42 (2), 157-168.
Okada, E.M. (2005). Justification Effects on Consumer Choice of Hedonic and Utilitarian Goods. Journal of Marketing Research (JMR), 42, 43-53.
Learn more . . .