U.S. diets remain out of balance with Federal recommendations

This bar chart shows the estimated average U.S. consumption of five categories of food compared with the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines recommendations in 1970 and 2018. The categories are: Meat, eggs, and nuts; Grains; Vegetables; Dairy; and Fruit.

Although people in the United States are eating more vegetables and fruit than they did in 1970, the average U.S. diet still falls short of Federal recommendations for these two major food groups, as well as for dairy, as provided in the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In contrast to the recommended daily 2.5 cups of vegetables on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet, people in the United States consumed an average of 1.9 cups in 2018, according to food availability data from the USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS). This represents 76 percent of the recommended amount, up from 63 percent in 1970. In 2018, U.S. consumers ate or drank an average of 1.5 cups of dairy products per day—50 percent of the recommended 3 cups and a decrease from 1.6 cups in 1970. Fruit consumption in the United States was the farthest below guidance at 41 percent of the recommended 2 cups. On average, U.S. consumption of foods in the meat, eggs, and nuts category and of grains in 2018 exceeded recommended amounts. The data for this chart come from the Loss-Adjusted Food Availability data series in ERS's Food Availability (Per Capita) Data System.

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