Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Meaningful messages: Adults in the Lower Mississippi Delta provide cultural insight into strategies for promoting the MyPyramid

Authors
item Zoellner, Jamie - UNIV SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI
item Bounds, Wendy - UNIV SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI
item Connell, Carol - UNIV SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI
item Yadrick, Kathy - UNIV SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI
item Crook, Lashaundrea - UNIV SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 31, 2008
Publication Date: January 6, 2010
Citation: Zoellner, J., Bounds, W., Connell, C., Yadrick, K., Crook, L. 2010. Meaningful messages: Adults in the Lower Mississippi Delta provide cultural insight into strategies for promoting the MyPyramid. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 42(1):41-50.

Interpretive Summary: With the recent release of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid Food Guidance System (MyPyramid), little is understood about the public's exposure and perception of these new recommendations. The objective of this qualitative study was to explore cultural perceptions of the MyPyramid key messages and identify factors that may impact adoption of these recommendations among adults residing in the Lower Mississippi Delta. Twenty-three Delta adult residents, primarily African American females, participated in structured interviews. When asked to identify good reasons to follow the MyPyramid key messages, non-specific references to improved health were most prevalent; however, participants also acknowledged the importance of getting vitamins and nutrients, and the impact food choices have on health conditions and organ systems. Individual level factors, such as dislike for foods and tradition or customs, far outnumbered environmental level factors, such as cost and availability as perceived reasons preventing community members from adhering to the key messages. The most frequently mentioned suggestion for helping community members eat according to the MyPyramid were to raise awareness, provide information, and improve the taste of or provide opportunity to taste. The qualitative nature of this study helped capture the cultural and social application of the MyPyramid among the Delta population and provided valuable information on factors promoting and inhibiting adoption of the key messages. The overall thematic responses regarding issues preventing compliance with the MyPyramid and factors for helping community members eat according to the MyPyramid indicate that both social marketing campaigns and intervention efforts focused on individual level factors are needed to promote the MyPyramid in this disadvantaged Delta region.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to explore cultural perceptions of the MyPyramid key messages and identify factors that may impact adoption of these recommendations. Study participants were 23 adults, primarily African American females, residing in the Lower Mississippi Delta. When asked to identify good reasons to follow the MyPyramid key messages, non-specific references to improved health were most prevalent (n=130); however, participants also acknowledged the importance of getting vitamins and nutrients (n=81), and the impact food choices have on health conditions (n=77) and organ systems (n=65). Individual level factors (n=211), such as dislike for foods and tradition orcustoms, far outnumbered environmental level factors (n=48), such as cost and availability as perceived reasons preventing community members from adhering to the key messages. The most frequently mentioned suggestion for helping community members eat according to the MyPyramid were to raise awareness (n=93), provide information (n=65), and improve the taste of or provide opportunity to taste (n=49). This study captured participants' cultural perspectives of the MyPyramid key messages. Results indicate that both social marketing campaigns and intervention efforts focused on individual level factors are needed to promote the MyPyramid in this disadvantaged Delta region.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page