Saturday, June 8, 2019

Large discrepancies between self-perception & actual meat consumption: Only 18 % of the sample & 26 % of self-declared low-meat consumers met official dietary recommendations for meat intake

Meat avoidance: motives, alternative proteins and diet quality in a sample of Swiss consumers. Désirée Hagmann, Michael Siegrist and Christina Hartmann. Public Health Nutrition, June 4 2019.

Objective: Diets lower in meat are considered both highly beneficial for human health and more environmentally friendly. The present study compared consumer groups with different self-declared diet styles regarding meat (vegetarians/vegans, pescatarians, low- and regular meat consumers) in terms of their motives, protein consumption, diet quality and weight status.

Design: Cross-sectional data from the Swiss Food Panel 2.0 (survey 2017).

Setting: Switzerland, Europe.

Participants: Data of 4213 Swiss adults (47·4 % females) from a nationally representative sample living in the German- and French-speaking regions of Switzerland (mean age 55·4 years).

Results: For vegetarians, vegans and pescatarians, ethical concerns about animal welfare and environmental friendliness, as well as taste preferences are stronger reasons to avoid meat consumption. Female low-meat consumers are more likely to be motivated by weight regulation. Only 18 % of the sample and 26 % of self-declared low-meat consumers met the official dietary recommendations for meat intake. Concerns about animal welfare and taste preferences predicted lower meat intake, whereas perceived difficulty of practising a low-meat diet and weight-loss motives were associated with higher meat consumption in consumers who reported eating little or no meat.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that there can be large discrepancies between consumers’ self-perception and their actual meat consumption. This has to be taken into account when designing public health interventions. Addressing ethical concerns about animal welfare (e.g. through awareness campaigns), further improving the range of vegetarian options and increasing consumers’ knowledge about the dietary recommendations may be ways to promote diets lower in meat.

No comments:

Post a Comment