USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) on Friday reported declines in consumption of pork, poultry, fish, and beef between the first quarter of 2004 and the first quarter of 2005, "perhaps due to waning interest in low-carbohydrate diets." By contrast, ERS food marketing expert Ephraim Leibtag and nutrition economics expert Lisa Mancino reported fruit consumption increased more than any other category during the same period.
The authors discussed the consumption changes in the context of the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released in January 2005, saying the new recommendations "spur the sales of whole grain foods." They compared sales of whole grain products during an 8 week period after the release of the guidelines with sales for the same products during an earlier comparison period. To avoid complications from seasonal consumption patterns, they also compared the post-guidelines period with the same period one year earlier. In both comparisons, consumption of whole grain breads and ready-to-eat cereals jumped dramatically after the release of the Guidelines.