Meaningful Messages: Adults in the Lower Mississippi Delta Provide Cultural Insight into Strategies for Promoting the MyPyramid

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Nutrition and Food Systems


Objective: To explore cultural perceptions of the MyPyramid key messages and identify factors that may impact adoption of these recommendations. Methods: Systematic content analysis of transcripts from in-depth, structured interviews with 23 adults, primarily African American females, residing in the Lower Mississippi Delta. Results: When asked to identify good reasons to follow the MyPyramid key messages, nonspecific 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 food items and tradition or customs, 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 cat 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). Conclusions and Implications: 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 arc needed to promote the MyPyramid in this disadvantaged Delta region.

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Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior





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