We can feel our arteries closing already. Sales of deep fryers were up 32 percent for the first half of 1999, while purchases of steamers remained flat, according to The NPD Group. The boom in deep fryers isn't the result of new advertising or price promotions, nor did manufacturers launch any new products, the Port Washington, New York-based market research firm says. There have been, however, gradual shifts in consumption. Since 1990, the percent of consumers who say they think about calories when making a meal has dropped 13 percentage points, to 26 percent from 39 percent. Forty-one percent avoid fatty foods when they cook, down from 51 percent in 1990.