Low-carbohydrate diets, such as the Atkins plan, and convenience breakfast foods could undermine Australia's A$1.5bn (US$1.1bn) baking industry, according to a report.

The Bread Research Institute of Australia says the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets could represent a future risk to the industry, which makes bread, biscuits, cakes and pastries.

The institute said in its report that the average annual increase in retail turnover for all bakery products was 2.7% between 1997 and 2002, but that future growth might be hampered by low-carbohydrate diets and the popularity of convenience breakfast foods.

The institute also said that a survey it carried out had suggested 48% of people believe carbohydrates to be fattening, reported ABIX.