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ERIC Number: ED566310
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 154
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3037-4913-1
Guidelines for Promoting MyPlate and Its Website among College Students
Baker, Sandra Deppen
ProQuest LLC, D.Ed. Dissertation, University of Delaware
With the pressing concern of overweight, obesity and other nutritional inadequacies among the general United States population and college students in particular, devising solutions to combat these problems is warranted. This investigation researched undergraduate students' perceptions of the United States Department of Agriculture's MyPlate icon and website. The MyPlate icon and website are the government's current visual for healthy eating and its messages are hoped to positively impact eating behaviors. The goal of this study was to establish recommendations for MyPlate's effective use in the undergraduate population and guidelines for teaching its principles in introductory nutrition classes and other campus venues. The investigation employed mixed methods using an online survey and focus groups. Undergraduate students at the University of Delaware representing nutrition majors, students enrolled in an introductory nutrition course, and the general undergraduate population completed a 30 question online survey. The survey included questions about their demographics, prior exposure to the MyPlate icon and website and opinions on its appeal. Data were analyzed for 564 students. Overall, the majority of respondents preferred MyPlate to the former icon, MyPyramid. Students' views of the icon and site were mixed. Seeing the icon did not inspire students to view the site. Respondents were mostly favorable about the website. Twenty-seven students, all of whom were currently enrolled in NTDT200, participated in two focus groups. Responses were audio taped and systematically analyzed for themes related to students' perceptions of the icon and site and their recommendations for improvement and teaching. One of the recommendations that became apparent from the focus group analysis was that MyPlate and especially its website including the SuperTracker tool could be introduced in Freshmen First Year Experience (FYE) classes and introductory nutrition classes. Focus group participants felt MyPlate appears juvenile, but when they were exposed to the information and tools available on the accompanying website, they expressed that the information was valuable and applicable to them. Guidelines for teaching MyPlate among undergraduate students emerged from this work and included teaching it in context by explaining the history of the evolution of MyPyramid to MyPlate. Other guidelines focused on the importance of teaching MyPlate in-depth and including assignments to help students personalize its information. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Delaware
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A