The nutritionally-balanced quadrants of the USDA’s MyPlate, the graphic interpretation of the new federal dietary guidelines that depicts a healthful daily diet, looks very different than what’s actually on the plates of most Americans, according to The NPD Group, a leading market research company. NPD’s food and beverage market research finds that for the average consumer, only two percent of their days come close to resembling the USDA’s MyPlate.   

Using NPD’s National Eating Trends research, which has continually tracked the eating and drinking habits of U.S. consumers for over 30 years, MyPlate days were calculated based on consumers who, on the same day, achieved at least 70 percent of the daily recommended intake for dairy, fruit, grains, proteins and vegetables. For the average consumer, two percent of their days (about 7 days a year) come close to the USDA dietary guidelines; and when a MyPlate day is achieved, consumers are very likely to consume more than three meals a day.  

“Clearly there is a need for consumers to change their eating behaviors,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst who analyzed the NET information in comparison to the MyPlate guidelines. “With more than 65 percent of adults in NPD’s nationally representative consumer panel classified as either overweight or obese, the necessity behind change could not be more apparent.”