Going through changes: A longitudinal study of meat reduction over time in the UK

Christopher Bryant, Euan Ross, Charlotte Flores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (SciVal)


There are increasing moral, environmental and public health imperatives to curb meat consumption. While research on meat reduction has proliferated in recent years, the majority of empirical work has taken cross-sectional and/or experimental approaches. Therefore, this study sought to understand the process of dietary change through an observational longitudinal survey of 1,529 UK residents over the course of one year. An online questionnaire was used to take measures of diet, exposure to animal advocacy, exposure to animals and animal-lovers, the transtheoretical model of change, the COM-B model (capability, opportunity, motivation → behaviour), and demographics at 0, 6, and 12 months. While no support was found for predictions made on the COM-B model, some support was found for hypotheses made on the transtheoretical model - in particular, there was some evidence that those at later stages who still ate meat were more likely to give it up, and those at earlier stages who had given up meat were more likely to start eating it again. There were also generally stronger measures of decisional balance (i.e. conviction in the decision to give up meat) and self-efficacy for those at more advanced stages. Analyses also indicate that increases in consumption of animal product alternatives were significantly correlated with decreases in animal products in the same category. Ordinal regression models yielded low predictive ability, meaning that information on the interventions which may influence animal product consumption was limited. Findings are discussed in the context of previous literature and recommendations for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104854
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Early online date21 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by Animal Charity Evaluators through the Animal Advocacy Research Fund.

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Animal Charity Evaluators' Animal Advocacy Research Fund for providing the research funding for this project. We are also grateful to Jacob Peacock and Maya Mathur for their helpful input, which greatly improved the manuscript.

Data availability
Data will be made available on request.


  • COM-B model
  • Diet change
  • Longitudinal
  • Meat reduction
  • Transtheoretical model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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