Prepared Foods May 2, 2005 enewsletter

According to results from a nationwide survey, within one week of the USDA's unveiling of MyPyramid on April 19, 2005, 40% of Americans -- 87 million adults -- report they have seen the new food pyramid. Most consumers who have seen the new pyramid believe the design is equal to or better than the previous pyramid, originally released in 1992.

However, awareness of MyPyramid varies widely by demographic characteristics; 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 USDA 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," Shiman said.

The Opinion Dynamics survey, entitled "Consumer Attitudes Toward MyPyramid" and available in white paper form at, polled 1000 adults. The survey was conducted independently and 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 version; 14% believe it is less useful; 46% believe it is equally useful, and the rest are unsure.

* By a nearly three-to-one margin, women prefer the new design to the old pyramid (30% to 11%). Men's reactions are more mixed: 26% prefer the new design, while 20% preferred 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.