Public views of the benefits and barriers to the consumption of a plant-based diet.

Author(s): 

Lea EJ, Crawford D, Worsley A.

Year Published: 

2006

Journal: 

Eur J Clin Nutr.

Category: 

Study Design: 

Link to Full Article Free Online: 

Abstract: 

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.