Agricultural Economic Report No. (AER-779) 30 pp

July 1999

Moving Toward the Food Guide Pyramid: Implications for U.S. Agriculture

Recent studies show that average diets differ considerably from Food Guide Pyramid recommendations. The gap between current consumption and recommendations is particularly large for caloric sweeteners, fats and oils, fruits, and certain vegetables, notably dark-green leafy and deep-yellow vegetables, and dry beans, peas, and lentils. The change in food consumption needed to meet Food Guide Pyramid serving recommendations will result in adjustments in U.S. agricultural production, trade, nonfood uses, and prices. The net adjustment in crop acreage is projected to be relatively small, about 2 percent of total cropland in 1991-95. However, this small net adjustment masks larger anticipated changes for some sectors, particularly sweeteners, fats and oils, and citrus fruits.

Keywords: Food, food consumption, Food Guide Pyramid, crop production, commodity prices, trade, dietary recommendations, 1996 Farm Act

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