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Interventions that influence animal-product consumption

This paper reviews the evidence on interventions that can increase or decrease consumption of animal-source foods. It finds that providing information on the environmental impacts of meat can reduce consumption, as can - to a more limited extent - providing information on health and animal welfare impacts, emphasising social norms such as trends towards plant-based eating, and reducing meat portion sizes.

Abstract

Transitioning toward plant-based diets can alleviate health and sustainability challenges. However, research on interventions that influence animal-product consumption remains fragmented and inaccessible to researchers and practitioners. We conducted an overview of systematic reviews, also known as a meta-review. We searched five databases for reviews that examined interventions that influence (increase or decrease) the consumption of animal products. We quantitatively summarised results using individual studies' directions of effect because reviews rarely reported effect sizes of primary studies. Eighteen reviews met inclusion criteria, 12 of which examined interventions intended to decrease animal-product consumption and 6 of which examined interventions intended to increase animal-product consumption. In total, only two reviews conducted quantitative meta-analyses. Across all reviews, vote counting indicated that providing information on the environmental impact of meat consumption may reduce consumption, with 10 of 11 estimates suggesting reduced consumption (91%, 95% CI [62.3%, 98.4%]; p = .012). Providing information on the health consequences, emphasising social norms, and reducing meat portion sizes also appeared promising, albeit with more limited evidence. Reviews examining interventions that decreased consumption predominately focused on meat (10/12 reviews). Future reviews should conduct quantitative syntheses where appropriate and examine interventions that influence the consumption of animal products other than meat.

 

Reference

Grundy, E.A., Slattery, P., Saeri, A.K., Watkins, K., Houlden, T., Farr, N., Askin, H., Lee, J., Mintoft-Jones, A., Cyna, S., Dziegielewski, A., Gelber, R., Rowe, A., Mathur, M. B., Timmons, S., Zhao, K., Wilks, M., Peacock, J. R., Harris, J., Rosenfeld, D. L., Bryant, C., Moss, D. and Zorker, M. (2021). Interventions that Influence Animal-Product Consumption: A Meta-Review. Future Foods, p.100111.

Read the full paper here. See also the TABLE explainer What can be done to shift eating patterns in healthier, more sustainable directions?

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Publication
11 Mar 2022
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Image: Einladung_zum_Essen, Salad chickpeas orange, Pixabay, Pixabay Licence
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