On average, Americans take 27% of their daily calories from sugary and fatty foods, when most nutritionists advise that this number ideally should be more like 5% or 10%. These foods are typically energy-dense and nutrient-poor - so called "junk foods", such as candy, sugary soft drinks, potato chips, cookies, cakes and ice cream. One in three gets almost half of his or her calories (45%) from these foods. Such people typically consumed one-third less of the recommended nutrient-rich foods.
According the US National Institutes of Health, only 1% to 3% of the population follow the recommendations of the Food Guide Pyramid on any given day. Most fall far short on servings of fruit, dark green vegetables and whole grain-based foods that form the base of the pyramid. Only 5% of children eat the recommended servings of fruit and only 9% meet the recommendations for milk and low-fat dairy products.