Meat-Reduced Dietary Practices and Efforts in 5 Countries: Analysis of Cross-Sectional Surveys in 2018 and 2019

Lana Vanderlee*, Clara Gómez-Donoso, Rachel B. Acton, Samantha Goodman, Sharon I. Kirkpatrick, Tarra Penney, Christina A. Roberto, Gary Sacks, Martin White, David Hammond

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57S-66S
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society for Nutrition.


  • dietary patterns
  • flexitarianism
  • meat-reduced diets
  • sustainable diets
  • vegetarianism


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