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Few moms familiar with the USDA's MyPlate for healthier eating

Dec. 28, 2013 at 12:42 PM

ITHACA, N.Y., Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Nine percent of U.S. moms are familiar with MyPlate, created in 2011 by U.S. officials to help consumers put dietary guidelines into practice, a survey says.

MyPlate was created in 2011 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help American consumers put dietary guidelines into practice by prompting people to think about what's on a plate -- illustrating healthy proportions of fruit, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy within a single meal. Half of a plate should be filled with fruit and vegetables, the other half grain and protein accompanied with a serving of dairy.

MyPlate replaced MyPyramid, the triangle depicting how many servings of each food group a person should eat in a day.

Dr. Brian Wansink of Cornell University and Dr. Sibylle Kranz of Purdue University conducted a survey of 497 moms, and found 46 were familiar with MyPlate, 21 percent were somewhat familiar and 70 percent said they were unfamiliar.

The survey found mothers were more likely to be familiar with MyPlate if they already knew about MyPyramid. In addition, mothers who found MyPlate easy to understand and relevant to their lives were more likely to see its potential to help their families eat better.

The survey found mothers who adopted MyPlate were more likely to be "vegetable lovers" and to involve their kids in preparing family meals. These mothers not only liked vegetables because they are healthy but also because they can improve the taste of the entrees and make meals feel like special family occasions.

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