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What Does a Healthy Meal Look Like? MyPlate Guidelines

Author: Cornell Food and Brand Lab(i)

Contact : Brian Wansink - wansink@cornell.edu - 607-229-3896

Published: Sunday, 29th December 2013 (6 years ago) - Updated: Sunday, 19th May 2019 (9 months ago) .

Synopsis:

MyPlate was created in 2011 by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help American consumers put the Dietary Guidelines into practice.

Key Points:

Main Digest

Food preferences, cooking ability, involvement of children in food preparation, nutritional knowledge, and prior familiarity with MyPyramid were predictors of MyPlate awareness and use.

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?

The current nutrition guide published by the United States Department of Agriculture, depicting a place setting with a plate and glass divided into five food groups. It replaced the USDA's MyPyramid guide. MyPlate is divided into sections of approximately 30 percent grains, 30 percent vegetables, 20 percent fruits and 20 percent protein, accompanied by a smaller circle representing dairy, such as a glass of low-fat/nonfat milk or a yogurt cup. MyPlate will be displayed on food packaging and used in nutrition education in the United States.

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 trend-setting 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.

MyPlate - Consumer Messages

MyPlate Symbol Photo Credit - U. S. Department of Agriculture.
MyPlate Symbol Photo Credit - U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Of these:

Some Interesting Patterns Emerged

So, what can the rest of us learn from these trend-setting MyPlate moms?

Servings sizes - Photo Credit - U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Servings sizes - Photo Credit - U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Recommendations

For Americans who eat out or on-the-go, there are strategies for keeping MyPlate in mind while navigating restaurant menus. Find out what the USDA can do for you and your family!

(i)Source/Reference: Cornell Food and Brand Lab. Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith. Content may have been edited for style, clarity or length.

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