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Last Updated: Monday, 28 April, 2003, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
Wheat sales hit by diet fads
A thin Geri Halliwell
Geri cut back on her wheat intake
US wheat farmers say the latest diet fads are leaving them with slimmer wallets.

Low carbohydrate diets, including the popular but controversial Atkins diet, have encouraged slimmers to shun pasta and bread in favour of high-protein foods.

Domestic use of flour in the US has dropped for two years running, something that has not happened since the 1950s, according to government figures.

Meat consumption, meanwhile, is on the rise, with the average American eating 88kg of red meat, poultry or fish each year.

US diet guru Dr Robert Atkins, who died earlier this month, has sold more than 15 million copies of his book around the world, while celebrities such as Jennifer Anniston and Geri Halliwell are thought to be fans of his low-carb method.

Men eating spaghetti
Wheat growers blame an assault on carbohydrates
"Flour consumption has been on a decline and it seems to be predominantly because of an assault on carbohydrates," said Dave Green, director of quality control for ADM Milling in Kansas.

Judi Adams, a dietitian at the Wheat Foods Council, stresses that grain foods are good for you, should not be linked to weight problems and are enriched with vitamins.

"It's not our fault that 64% of the population is overweight," said a spokeswoman from Atkins health and Medical Information Services when asked about the change in eating trends.

Diet guru Atkins dies
17 Apr 03  |  Health
Celebrity diets: The verdict
21 Jan 03  |  UK News

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