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A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: Customizing MyPlate for Low-Literate, Low-Income Families in 4 Steps

      MyPlate, the iconic representation of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, is abstract for many low-income parents.
      • Levine E.
      • Abbatangelo-Gray J.
      • Mobley A.R.
      • McLaughlin G.R.
      • Herzog J.
      Evaluating MyPlate: an expanded framework using traditional and nontraditional metrics for assessing health communication campaigns.
      The need to translate this graphic into concrete meal images suitable for this audience is supported by information-processing theories.
      • Levie W.H.
      • Lantz R.
      Effects of text illustrations: a review of research.
      These theories are particularly relevant for the educational environment for low-literate clients participating in federal assistance programs such as the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and Head Start. Representative color photographs provide the most realistic impression to facilitate understanding abstract concepts.
      • Townsend M.S.
      • Sylva K.
      • Martin M.
      • Metz D.
      • Wooten-Swanson P.
      Improving readability of an evaluation tool for low-income clients using visual information processing theories.
      Realistic color photographs are the preferred choice of low-literate audiences.
      • Townsend M.S.
      • Sylva K.
      • Martin M.
      • Metz D.
      • Wooten-Swanson P.
      Improving readability of an evaluation tool for low-income clients using visual information processing theories.
      • Townsend G.C.
      • Neelon M.
      • Donohue S.
      • Johns M.C.
      Improving quality of data from EFNEP participants with low-literacy skills: a participant-driven model.
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      References

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        • Abbatangelo-Gray J.
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        • McLaughlin G.R.
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        Evaluating MyPlate: an expanded framework using traditional and nontraditional metrics for assessing health communication campaigns.
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        Effects of text illustrations: a review of research.
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        Improving readability of an evaluation tool for low-income clients using visual information processing theories.
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        Improving quality of data from EFNEP participants with low-literacy skills: a participant-driven model.
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