Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Does Knowledge and/or Use of MyPlate Correlate to Better Diet Quality?
by Towne, Taylor P., M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2019, 62; 13426302
Abstract (Summary)

Currently there is limited research investigating the effects of common nutrition education tools such as MyPlate on diet quality. It is important to continually asses the tools used for education in order to understand their relevance and impact. The current study investigated demographic and diet quality (measured by Healthy Eating Index Scores) factors in relationship to MyPlate awareness and use using the NHANES 2013–2014 data. Understanding the demographic characteristics that drive an individual to look up or try a MyPlate plan after learning about it will help health professionals understand which demographic groups to target with further outreach. This study focused on demographic variables as well as MyPlate awareness and use by analyzing three MyPlate variables formed from the NHANES 2013–2014 questions 1) Have you heard of MyPlate? 2) Have you looked up MyPlate on the internet? and 3) Have you tried to follow the plan recommended in MyPlate? Healthy Eating Index Scores were then contrived from the NHANES 2-day diet recall in order to measure diet quality on a scale of 0–100.

It was found that MyPlate awareness was low (~20%) and at the low end of the range of awareness found by previous research. Of those who were aware of MyPlate, ~30–40% of them had looked it up or tried a MyPlate plan. Diet quality was also found to be poor (~50%), which further strengthens the previous research that states Americans on average have poor diet quality and do not meet the DGA. Non-Hispanic Asian females, with high education level, and high-income status were found to have the best overall diet quality. Males, non-Hispanic Blacks, non-Hispanic whites, those with low education levels and low-income levels had poorer diet quality and can be further targeted for nutrition education by health professionals. Small statistically significant results showing an improvement in diet quality once an individual had heard of MyPlate or tried a MyPlate plan were found. However, HEI score was not found to be a meaningfully significant predictor of MyPlate knowledge and/or use and similarly, MyPlate knowledge and/or use was not found to be a meaningfully significant predictor of HEI score due to the very small increase (3 points) of HEI scores. Overall, this study found that more nutrition education and outreach regarding MyPlate needs to take place before the tool can be accurately reviewed for its relationship with diet quality.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gray, Virginia
Commitee: Hill, Michael S., Wang, Long
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Family and Consumer Sciences
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 58/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Public Health Education, Nutrition
Keywords: Diet quality, Healthy Eating Index Scores, MyPlate, NHANES
Publication Number: 13426302
ISBN: 978-1-392-14297-4
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