Most Americans’ plates do not resemble the nutritionally-balanced quadrants on the USDA’s MyPlate (the new federal guidelines for a healthful daily diet). So note market research firm The NPD Group’s new food and beverage findings, as reported in an online article by (December 13, 2011).

More alarming was the revelation that, when a “MyPlate day” was achieved, people were more likely to consume more than three meals on that day.In fact, few of the average consumers’ plates even come close to the ideal. Using NPD’s National Eating Trends research, which continually tracked eating and drinking habits of U.S. consumers for more than 30 years, MyPlate days were calculated based on consumers who, on the same day, achieved at least 70% of the daily recommended intake for dairy, fruit, grains, protein and vegetables. For the average consumer, only 2% of their MyPlate-attainment days (about 7 days per year) came near the USDA’s guidelines.

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

Although most consumers are seemingly more aware of what they are supposed to eat to maintain a healthy diet, sometimes what they actually eat is totally different. Since the MyPlate program was only released last year, time will tell if consumers’ eating behavior will change for the better.