Filippo Bianchi1, Emma Garnett2, Claudia Dorsel3, Paul Aveyard1, Susan A Jebb1
1. University of Oxford, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, Oxford, UK
2. University of Cambridge, Department of Zoology, Cambridge, UK
3. Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Department of Psychology, Düsseldorf, Germany
Reducing meat consumption could help to protect the natural environment and promote population health. Interventions restructuring physical micro-environments might help to change habitual behaviour. In this review, recently published in the Lancet Planetary Health, we found 18 studies up to August 2017 testing the effects of 22 interventions, aiming to reduce meat consumption by changing the physical settings in which people buy or consume foods. We found that reducing portion sizes of meat servings, freely providing meat-alternatives, or altering the sensory characteristics of meat and plant-based alternatives at point of purchase (such as including the pig’s head on an image of a roast pork dish) can help to reduce the amount of meat that people select or consume. Some of the data suggested that re-positioning meat products to make them less prominent at the point of purchase may also be effective, while interventions around simply changing the name or description of meat products or plant-based alternatives at the point-of-purchase were not found to have an impact on people’s food choices. Certain studies evaluated the effectiveness of price manipulations and of wider campaigns, but there was not enough data to make firm conclusions on these approaches. The limited amount and quality of the currently available evidence means that further evaluation of these interventions is required.