CHICAGO — Only 2% of Americans’ days, or about 7 days a year, meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommendations through its MyPlate dietary guidelines, according to The NPD Group. The findings were based on NPD’s National Eating Trends research, which continually has tracked the eating and drinking habits of U.S. consumers for more than 30 years.

“MyPlate days” were considered to be those days in which consumers achieved at least 70% of the daily recommended intake for dairy, fruit, grains, proteins and vegetables. For the average consumer, only about 7 days a year came close to the U.S.D.A. dietary guidelines; and when a MyPlate day was achieved, consumers often had consumed more than three meals a day to get there,” NPD said.

“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.”

Mr. Seifer added while research shows consumers are more aware of what constitutes a healthy diet, it also shows what consumers say and what they do when it comes to eating are often different.

“Since the MyPlate program was just released last year, time will tell if it will have an effect on the way consumers eat, but it’s likely to be an up-hill battle,” Mr. Seifer said.