Public attitudes to low-impact diets

Funded by: Nuffield Foundation


February 2010 to June 2010

PSI researchers:

Background, summary and aims

Background, Scope and Aims

This scoping study will explore public attitudes to the consumption of low impact diets. It will consider public understanding of the impact of meat and dairy consumption and the possible long-term impact of current levels of such consumption for climate change and society. Importantly, the research will also consider policy options for encouraging the consumption of low impact diets.

The overall aim of this scoping project is to explore in-depth public attitudes to the consumption of lower impact diets amongst meat-eaters. In doing so, the project will be seeking to meet the following key research objectives:

  • To explore public understanding of and attitudes to the consumption of meat and dairy products
  • To investigate public understanding of the environmental impact of meat and dairy consumption, and the contribution of this to climate change
  • To explore a range of policy options with participants to test the acceptability of different ways of encouraging the reduced consumption of meat and dairy products.
  • To consider how the frequency with which people eat meat influences their attitudes to lower impact diets

Project Design

The research for this scoping study will be informed by a short literature review and based largely on the findings of five deliberative focus groups. Participants will be recruited based on the frequency with which they eat meat: the intention is to explore whether the frequency of meat consumption relates to attitudes to reduced meat and dairy intake.

Importance of Research

The study will have policy-relevant implications for both health professionals and those seeking to encourage more pro-environmental lifestyles. If successful, it is hoped the project will inform a larger action-research project.