Awareness and use of MyPlate Guidelines in Making Food Choices


Background/Objective: Over the past decades, the USDA created several guidelines to assist the public in making healthful food choices. In June 2011, the popular pyramid symbols (Food Guide Pyramid and MyPyramid) were replaced with MyPlate - a simple and practical guideline for making healthful food choices. This study aims to 1) assess consumers' awareness of the replacement of MyPyramid with MyPlate, and 2) determine whether MyPlate influenced people's dietary choices 4 months after the MyPlate symbol's release.

Methods: Fifty-one male and female participants, ages 18-34 years, with high school, associate's and bachelor's degree diplomas, were selected by convenience sampling. Participants manually completed an 11-question survey using yes/no or degree of liking rating. The relationship between participants' backgrounds, familiarity with MyPlate and MyPyramid guidelines, and the likelihood of use and influence on food selection was compared with participants' demographics.

Results: Eighty percent of the 51 participants were familiar with MyPyramid while 59% reported they had visited the website. About 50% of the participants reported they were aware that MyPlate replaced MyPyramid; but they were unfamiliar with MyPlate guidelines. About 50% of the participants would likely visit the MyPlate website. And, over half of the participants were unsure if MyPlate would influence their food choices while 43% thought it would.

Significance: MyPlate guidelines have been available to the public since June 2011 and findings of this study show that MyPlate guidelines influenced the food choices of at least 40% of the participants. It could be inferred that public awareness and use of MyPlate guidelines will grow over time.

Document Type





food guidelines, myplate awareness and use, food choices

Publication Date


Journal Title

Procedia Food Science