Reducing meat intake to mitigate climate change and improve health


  • Dr Lindsey Smith Taillie

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Project summary

Heavy consumption of meat, especially red and processed meat, is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Reducing meat intake, particularly in the USA where meat consumption is highest, should be a global priority. Point-of-purchase policies such as taxes and warning labels have reduced consumption of other products including cigarettes and sugary drinks, but it remains unknown whether such policies could also reduce meat intake. 

This project will examine trends in meat consumption and identify the top meat-consuming subpopulations in the USA. We will design effective warning messages for these groups and evaluate whether these warnings and/or meat taxes can reduce the purchase of meat in a virtual supermarket. We will then quantify the impact of these strategies on the incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

The findings of this project could be used to help reduce meat consumption which would reduce GHGs and provide health co-benefits.