Bakers Losing Dough With Atkins

Low-carb diets, many people are avoiding breads. But Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist with New York University Medical Center, bread
CBS/The Early Show
Since 1927, New Yorkers wanting a great steak or burger have been going to Gallagher's. It hadn't changed a bit in nearly three-fourths of a century. That is, until recently, when waiter Shane Finnegan started noticing customers ordering their burgers, with no bun.

So, as CBS News Correspondent Jim Axelrod reports, if Finnegan hears someone order a burger with no bun he thinks, Atkins.

The no-bread, no-carb Atkins diet has left millions of pound-shedding Americans with a new and improved self-image and a few others, like baker Amy Scherber, feeling like the devil.

"Well, it's funny. Sometimes people just 'Oh no! I don't eat any bread! ... it's like poison or something horrible for you," said Scherber.

Bread bakers are starting to make - sorry, but there's no other way to say it - less dough.

One study has bread production down 13 percent. Forty percent of Americans say they eat less bread then they did a year ago.

"I really hope people come to their senses and realize that they just can't live on meats and fats alone," says Scherber.

But wait, didn't that used to be men can't live on bread alone, right?

But that's exactly what's happening in America, and bread makers can see it as clearly as anyone else, maybe more so. Even if they wanted to ignore it, their cash registers won't let them.

At Panera, a chain restaurant whose menu is built around bread, they're even rolling out new low-carb breads.

"We've got to stay relative to consumers - as they evolve, we evolve," says Ron Schaich, Panera's CEO.

No, for now, bread's perhaps as out as it's ever been in this country. All bakers can do is wonder and await the birth of the next diet craze. And hope it's another bun in the oven.