Deakin University

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Meat-reduced Dietary Practices and Efforts in Five Countries: Analysis of Cross-sectional Surveys in 2018 and 2019

journal contribution
posted on 2022-06-01, 00:00 authored by Lana Vanderlee, Clara Gómez-Donoso, Rachel B Acton, Samantha Goodman, Sharon I Kirkpatrick, Tarra Penney, Christina A Roberto, Gary SacksGary Sacks, Martin White, David Hammond
Background: Diets that reduce reliance on animal-source foods are recommended in some contexts.
Objectives: This study aimed to compare proportions of respondents who reported following meat-reduced dietary
practices (i.e., vegetarian, vegan, or pescatarian diets) and/or making efforts to reduce animal-source foods, and to
examine sociodemographic correlates across 5 countries.
Methods: Online surveys were conducted in November and December 2018 and 2019 with 41,607 adults from Australia
(n = 7926), Canada (n = 8031), Mexico (n = 8110), the United Kingdom (n = 9129), and the United States (n = 8411)
as part of the International Food Policy Study. Respondents were asked whether they would describe themselves as
vegetarian, vegan, or pescatarian, and whether they had made efforts to consume less red meat, less of all meats, or less
dairy in the past year. Logistic regressions examined differences in the likelihood of each behavior between countries
and sociodemographic subgroups.
Results: Approximately 1 in 10 respondents reported following a vegetarian, vegan, or pescatarian diet, ranging from
8.6% (Canada) to 11.7% (UK). In the past 12 months, the proportions of respondents who reported efforts to consume
less red meat ranged from 34.5% (Australia) to 44.4% (Mexico), less of all meats ranged from 27.9% (US) to 35.2%
(Mexico), and to consume less dairy ranged from 20.6% (UK) to 41.3% (Mexico). Respondents were more likely to report
efforts to consume less animal-source products in 2019 compared to 2018 in most countries. Sociodemographic patterns
varied by country; in general, women, those with higher education levels, and those in minority ethnic groups were more
likely to report following meat-reduced dietary practices or efforts to consume fewer animal-source products.
Conclusions: Nearly half of respondents reported following a meat-reduced diet or efforts to reduce animal-source
products, with differences between countries and population subgroups. Population-level approaches and policies that
support meat reduction may further reduce consumption of animal-source products.



The Journal of Nutrition




Supp. 1


57S - 66S


Oxford University Press


Oxford, Eng.







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal