British daily meat consumption dropped 17% in a decade, study finds

Daily meat consumption in the UK has fallen by almost a fifth over the past decade, according to a new study.

The study, published in The Lancet Planetary Health, used data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey to assess changes in red, white and processed meat consumption in the UK between 2008-09 and 2018-19.

Researchers found that the average daily meat consumption per capita fell from 103.7 g to 86.3 g – a decrease of about 17%.

Red meat consumption decreased by 13.7 g, while processed meat consumption decreased by 7 g.

The study also found that Brits ate 3.2g more white meat per day than they did a decade ago.

Despite the decline, the study’s authors warned that this is nowhere near enough to meet the meat consumption goals set out in Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy report.

The report warns against cutting meat consumption by 30% by 2030 to reduce methane emissions from cattle and sheep, which contribute to global warming, and to free up land for carbon uptake and the promotion of nature.

Cristina Stewart of Oxford University, the lead researcher behind the study, told the BBC: “We now know we need a bigger reduction.

“You don’t have to be a vegetarian. However, meatless dishes are generally less of an impact.

“But if you eat meat every day, a 30% reduction in your meat consumption looks like you have two meat-free days a week.”

In addition to the environmental impact, reducing meat consumption could also have myriad health benefits.

While a meat-heavy diet has been linked to colon cancer, a review published last month found that eating too much red and processed meat also increased your risk of heart disease.

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