Horgan, G.W., Scalco, A., Craig, T., Whybrow, S. and Macdiarmid, J.
The amount of meat produced and consumed in developed countries is having an impact on both health and the environment. This study aims to investigate some of the social and situational influences on meat consumption, exploring the association among the probability of eating meat and the amount eaten at a meal with the social, temporal, and environmental contexts.
Data for adults (19 years and above) from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (rolling programme years 1 to 6) were used for the analysis. Individual eating occasions were identified and the effects of age, gender, day of the week, where the food was eaten and with whom on the probability of eating meat and amount of meat eaten were statistically modelled.
Each factor showed distinctive effects on the chances to eat meat as well as on the amount consumed. Overall, the probability of eating meat showed two peaks per day, with no indication of one at breakfast time. When probability and amount are combined to give the overall amount during the day, the evening peak is considerably higher than the one in the middle of the day. Both the probability and amount of meat eaten in a single eating occasion was higher when with friends or colleagues compared to when eaten alone or with family when eaten out of the home, and on Sundays compared to the rest of the week.
When considering the application of policies or population interventions aimed to tackle meat overconsumption adequate attention must be paid to the effects of social, temporal, and environmental factor as they all work to shape consumers behaviour in different ways.