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Americans Not Digging Into MyPlate

CHICAGO—In June, USDA debuted MyPlate, a graphic icon designed to remind Americans to make healthier food choices by filling their plates with more fruit, vegetable, grains, protein and dairy food groups. However, new market data from the NPD Group reveals for the average consumer, only 2% of their days come close to resembling the new dietary guidelines.

MyPlate is divided into four wedges—fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein—with another small circle next to the plate representing dairy. Fruits and vegetables take up more than half the plate, adding grains covers about three-quarters, reflecting a shifting emphasis toward plant-based diets.

Using NPD’s National Eating Trends® (NET®) research, 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, proteins and vegetables. For the average consumer, 2% of their days (about seven 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," said Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst who analyzed the NET information in comparison to the MyPlate guidelines. “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."

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