Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Attitudes to meatless meals: a comparison of the general public and those with links to the agricultural economy.

Mackenzie, Myra; Shanahan, Laura


Myra Mackenzie

Laura Shanahan


Adopting meat reduction strategies within the UK is fundamental to limiting environmental damage and achieving public health benefits. This paper aims to compare the attitudes to adopting meat reduction strategies within the general population and people with a link to agriculture to understand attitudes to meat reduction. Cross-sectional self-administered questionnaires were disseminated using online fora, community groups and by attending agricultural marts. Questionnaire development was informed by current literature, and structured around four theoretical domains: knowledge, social/cultural influences, beliefs about consequences and intentions to change and a food frequency questionnaire for meat consumption. Inclusion criteria were people > 18 years, living in the North East of Scotland. In total, 470 adult participants, from within the North East of Scotland, were recruited. The study population was divided into two groups, individuals with a link to the agricultural economy (n = 174) and the general public (n = 296). The general public group were more willing than the agricultural community to adopt meatless meals (or were doing so) [55.1% (n = 162) vs 28.1% (n = 49), p < 0.001]. Barriers to change included habit, limited choice when eating out, resistance of family members, lack of information, income related to meat consumption and the status of meat within a meal. Men were less likely to choose meatless meals than women (23.8%, n = 36, vs 55.1%, n = 176, p < 0.001). Meat reduction strategies should be tailored appropriately to population groups, with an understanding of social and political drivers, and further studies investigating barriers within the agricultural economy are warranted.


MACKENZIE, M. and SHANAHAN, L. 2018. Attitudes to meatless meals: a comparison of the general public and those with links to the agricultural economy. Nutrition and food science [online], 48(6), pages 858-872. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 17, 2018
Online Publication Date Nov 12, 2018
Publication Date Dec 31, 2018
Deposit Date Jul 3, 2018
Publicly Available Date Nov 12, 2018
Journal Nutrition and food science
Print ISSN 0034-6659
Electronic ISSN 1758-6917
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 48
Issue 6
Pages 858-872
Keywords Attitudes; Barriers; Meatless meals; Agricultural economy; General public
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations