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Values, attitudes, and frequency of meat consumption: predicting meat-reduced diet in Australians
journal contributionposted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by Alexa Hayley, Lucille Zinkiewicz, K Hardiman
Reduced consumption of meat, particularly red meat, is associated with numerous health benefits. While past research has examined demographic and cognitive correlates of meat-related diet identity and meat consumption behaviour, the predictive influence of personal values on meat-consumption attitudes and behaviour, as well as gender differences therein, has not been explicitly examined, nor has past research focusing on 'meat' generally addressed 'white meat' and 'fish/seafood' as distinct categories of interest. Two hundred and two Australians (59.9% female, 39.1% male, 1% unknown), aged 18 to 91 years (M = 31.42, SD = 16.18), completed an online questionnaire including the Schwartz Values Survey, and measures of diet identity, attitude towards reduced consumption of each of red meat, white meat, and fish/seafood, as well as self-reported estimates of frequency of consumption of each meat type. Results showed that higher valuing of Universalism predicted more positive attitudes towards reducing, and less frequent consumption of, each of red meat, white meat, and fish/seafood, while higher Power predicted less positive attitudes towards reducing, and more frequent consumption of, these meats. Higher Security predicted less positive attitudes towards reducing, and more frequent consumption, of white meat and fish/seafood, while Conformity produced this latter effect for fish/seafood only. Despite men valuing Power more highly than women, women valuing Universalism more highly than men, and men eating red meat more frequently than women, gender was not a significant moderator of the value-attitude-behaviour mediations described, suggesting that gender's effects on meat consumption may not be robust once entered into a multivariate model of MRD attitudes and behaviour. Results support past findings associating Universalism, Power, and Security values with meat-eating preferences, and extend these findings by articulating how these values relate specifically to different types of meat.