"In a sign of changing times that has wounded Japan's gastronomical pride and mobilized its powerful farm lobby, the national rice bowl these days is increasingly less full. Challenged by trendy culinary newcomers such as croissants and spaghetti, baguettes and French fries, per capita rice consumption among Japanese has fallen to half of what it was in the late 1960s.
The shift to Western foods has had other implications for Japanese -- notably, their waistlines. The trend is most evident among men and children. In 1988, 18.9 percent of Japanese children were considered obese, according to a survey. By 2005, the percentage had risen to 24.3."
I'm not sure how to take this in light of the increase in the world prices of wheat. Bad news I guess. Western lifestyle at work again.