eCite Digital Repository

The cognitive contexts of beliefs about the healthiness of meat

Citation

Lea, EJ and Worsley, A, The cognitive contexts of beliefs about the healthiness of meat, Public Health Nutrition, 5, (1) pp. 37-45. ISSN 1368-9800 (2002) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1079/PHN2001240

Abstract

Objective: The overall aim of this study was to examine a variety of belief and demographic factors that are associated with the perception that meat is intrinsically unhealthy. Design: State-wide survey (written questionnaire) that included questions on meat and nutrition beliefs, perceived barriers and benefits of vegetarian diets, personal values, number of vegetarian friends and family members, and use and trust of health/nutrition/food information sources. Setting: South Australia. Subjects: Six hundred and one randomly selected South Australians and 106 non-randomly selected vegetarians and semi-vegetarians. Results: For all respondents considered as a group, the most important predictors of the belief that meat is intrinsically unhealthy were the perceived benefits of vegetarian diets (all positive predictors). These included: (1) the perceived links between vegetarianism, peace and increased contentment; (2) animal welfare and environmental benefits; and (3) health benefits. There were differences between different dietary groups however. For non-vegetarians, social concerns about vegetarianism (positive) were most important, followed by health and non-health benefits (positive) of vegetarianism. Red meat appreciation was the strongest (positive) predictor for vegetarians, with health benefits of vegetarianism (positive) and education (negative predictor) also important. Conclusions: The implications of the findings for health and other issues are discussed. Judgements about the healthiness of meat are likely to be related to moral and environmental beliefs and, for non-vegetarians, to social concerns about vegetarianism, in addition to health beliefs. These need to be considered if any attempts are made to influence meat consumption.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Nutrition and Dietetics
Research Field:Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health)
Objective Field:Nutrition
Author:Lea, EJ (Dr Emma Lea)
ID Code:48869
Year Published:2002
Web of Science® Times Cited:35
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2007-12-11
Last Modified:2011-11-25
Downloads:0

Repository Staff Only: item control page