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A longitudinal study of meat reduction using a stage-of-change approach

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Consumption of meat significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, and to unhealthy diets of populations. In Denmark, studies have found that the average consumption of meat is more than twice the amount of the recommendations considering health as and sustainability, although around 1/3 of the population expresses a willingness to reduce their consumption of meat. The aim of this study was to explore the drivers and barriers of reducing meat consumption in the Danish population.

We use a stage-of-change approach, assuming that the act of reducing meat consumption passes through distinct stages when people may form an intention to reduce meat to later completing the change. A number of barriers may be relevant in this context; e.g, lack of skills to cook meat free diets, habits, meat eater identity and enablers may include, e.g., environmental concern, concern for animal welfare and health. However, in the context of meat reduction, previous studies have, to our knowledge, not applied a longitudinal approach when applying the stage-of-change approach.

The study is based on two online surveys with a representative sample of almost 3.000 consumers aged 18-70 years, conducted at two points in time. We examined drivers and barriers for having progressed towards meat reduction, identifying the determinants for having made a change in the stages from T1 to T2 (3-4 months).

A total of 16% of respondents who completed both surveys reported to have made forward changes in the stage-of-stage sequence. Of these, 47% progressed from “no-intention to reduce” to “intention to reduce”; 25% progressed from “intention to reduce” to “reduction” and 27% progressed from “no intention to reduce” to “reduction”. Important predictors for the changes were habits, hedonism, environmental beliefs and social norms. Gender (female) and having (small) children also predicted changes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication yearSept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022
EventEUROSENSE 2022: A Sense of Earth
: European Conference on Sensory and Consumer Research
- Logomo Convention Centre, Turku, Finland
Duration: 13 Sept 202216 Sept 2022
Conference number: 10


ConferenceEUROSENSE 2022: A Sense of Earth
LocationLogomo Convention Centre
Internet address

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