Survey finds consumers prefer MyPyramid over old symbol

by Staff
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CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — Within one week of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s unveiling of MyPyramid on April 19, 40% of Americans, or about 87 million adults, report they have seen the new food pyramid, according to the results of a new national survey conducted by Opinion Dynamics.

And most consumers who have seen the new pyramid believe the design is equal to or better than the previous pyramid, originally released in 1992, Opinion Dynamics officials said in a release Thursday.

However, awareness of MyPyramid varies widely by demographic characteristics, the survey developers said. Minorities, consumers under the age of 30 and those earning less than $75,000 per year are less likely than other consumers to have seen the design for MyPyramid.

"To gain this much exposure within one week's time is a remarkable accomplishment," said Lawrence Shiman, vice-president at Opinion Dynamics. "However, the U.S.D.A. must make a special effort to reach minorities and younger adults if there is to be any hope of changing diet and physical activity behaviors within these groups."

The survey, entitled "Consumer Attitudes Toward MyPyramid," polled 1,000 adults. The survey was conducted independently and was not funded by any outside source.

Key findings include:

• Of those that have seen the new design, 28% believe that it is more useful than the old design, 14% believe it is less useful, 46% believe it is equally useful, and the rest are unsure.
• By a nearly 3-to-1 margin, women prefer the new design to the old pyramid, 30% to 11%. Men's reactions are more mixed, with 26% preferring the new design and 20% preferring the old design.
• People over the age of 55 (44%), and those with household incomes over $75,000 per year (49%) are particularly likely to have seen the new pyramid. Only 28% of those between the ages of 18 and 29 and only 29% of minorities have seen the new pyramid.

The survey results are available in white paper form at The survey is the latest research effort by Opinion Dynamics Corporation to measure consumer attitudes regarding nutrition, diet and health issues.

Founded in 1987 and headquartered in Cambridge, Opinion Dynamics conducts market research with a specialty in the food service industry. The company conducts research on a regular basis for leading national food associations, including the Produce Marketing Association, the National Turkey Federation and the American Beverage Association. Opinion Dynamics also conducts research for food manufacturers, retailers, and food service organizations.

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