Daily meat consumption in the UK has decreased by just under 17% in the last decade, according to new research from the University of Oxford.
However, this reduction is significantly less than the 30% reduction the National Food Strategy has recently called for within the next 10 years.
The analysis was conducted by a team at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, and is published in The Lancet Planetary Health.
It included an absolute reduction of 13.7g of red meat and 7.0g of processed meat, along with an increase of 3.2g of white meat.
The proportion of individuals who identified as vegetarian or vegan increased by 3% over the same period (from 2% to 5%).
Cristina Stewart, a researcher at the University of Oxford, who led the study said: “Around the world, meat consumption is changing: average per capita consumption is rising, but in many high income countries like the UK, meat consumption is slowly decreasing.
“Our results show a shift in the UK from red and processed meat towards white meat, which is consistent with health advice, but we are a long way from consuming a healthy sustainable diet.”
She added: “To put this in context, the National Food Strategy has called for a 30% reduction in total meat consumption in the next ten years, while other research has estimated that beef consumption alone in the UK needs to decrease by 89% to keep us within planetary boundaries.
“It’s clear that we need a greater focus on changing dietary habits to reduce the amount of meat we eat if these targets are to be met.”