Public Views of the Benefits and Barriers to the Consumption of a Plant-Based Diet
This study found the main barrier to the adoption of plant-based diets to be lack of information about such diets; the main benefits of plant-based diets are health-related. The study also covers demographic differences in the perceived pros and cons of consuming a plant-based diet.[Abstract excerpted from original source.]
“Objective: The aim of this study was to examine consumers’ perceived benefits and barriers to the consumption of a plant-based diet.
Design: Mail survey that included questions on perceived benefits and barriers to the consumption of a plant-based diet.
Setting: Victoria, Australia.
Subjects: Four hundred and fifteen randomly selected Victorian adults.
Results: The main perceived barrier to adoption of a plant-based diet was a lack of information about plant-based diets (42% agreement). Sex, age and education differences were present in over a quarter of the barrier items. For example, non-university-educated respondents and older people were less willing to change their current eating pattern than were university educated and younger respondents. The main benefits associated with plant-based diets were health benefits, particularly decreased saturated fat intake (79% agreement), increased fibre intake (76%), and disease prevention (70%). Age, sex and education differences with regard to benefits were apparent, although sex differences were more important than age or education differences.
Conclusions: The majority of respondents perceived there to be health benefits associated with the consumption of a plant-based diet. Compared with the proportion of respondents who agreed that there were particular benefits of eating a plant-based diet, perceived barriers were relatively low. An understanding of the perceived benefits and barriers of consuming a plant-based diet will help formulate strategies that aim to influence beliefs about plant foods, plant food consumption, and, ultimately, public health.
Sponsorship: Australian Research Council.”