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© 2018 The Author(s). Background: Reducing meat consumption can help prevent non-communicable diseases and protect the environment. Interventions targeting conscious determinants of human behaviour are generally acceptable approaches to promote dietary change, but little is known about their effectiveness to reduce the demand for meat. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of interventions targeting conscious determinants of human behaviour to reduce the demand for meat. Methods: We searched six electronic databases on the 31st of August 2017 with a predefined algorithm, screened publicly accessible resources, contacted authors, and conducted forward and backward reference searches. Eligible studies employed experimental designs to evaluate interventions targeting conscious determinants of human behaviour to reduce the consumption, purchase, or selection of meat in comparison to a control condition, a baseline period, or relative to other eligible interventions. We synthesised results narratively and conducted an exploratory crisp-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis to identify combinations of intervention characteristics associated with significant reductions in the demand for meat. Results: We included 24 papers reporting on 59 interventions and 25,477 observations. Self-monitoring interventions and individual lifestyle counselling led to, or were associated with reduced meat consumption. Providing information about the health or environmental consequences of eating meat was associated with reduced intentions to consume and select meat in virtual environments, but there was no evidence to suggest this approach influenced actual behaviour. Education about the animal welfare consequences of eating meat was associated with reduced intentions to consume meat, while interventions implicitly highlighting animal suffering were not. Education on multiple consequences of eating meat led to mixed results. Tailored education was not found to reduce actual or intended meat consumption, though few studies assessed this approach. Conclusion: Some interventions targeting conscious determinants of human behaviour have the potential to reduce the demand for meat. In particular, self-monitoring interventions and individual lifestyle counselling can help to reduce meat consumption. There was evidence of effectiveness of some educational messages in reducing intended consumption and selection of meat in virtual environments. Protocol registration: CRD42017076720.

Original publication

DOI

10.1186/s12966-018-0729-6

Type

Journal article

Journal

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

Publication Date

19/10/2018

Volume

15