Youngsters cut down on meat for healthier lifestyles

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Young people are seeking healthier diets
Young people are seeking healthier diets

Related tags Nutrition

A third (33%) of young people keen to lead a healthier lifestyle have tried to eat less meat, the ‘Healthy Lifestyles UK 2016’ report from Mintel has revealed.

This figure rises to 41% of women, while 24% of people have not cut their meat intake but would be interested in trying to. Almost quarter (24%) said they have increased the amount of protein in their diet, while 32% admitted they had not tried andy would be interested in doing so.

The survey of 2,000 people also revealed that 34% of Brits deemed themselves more healthy than they were a year ago, with this rising significantly amongst 16-34 year-olds (45%).

Cost a barrier to healthy eating

Cost was highlighted as the number one barrier to healthy eating as over a quarter (26%) of Brits said healthy foods and ingredients were too expensive. This was followed by the belief that healthy food is not filling enough (22%) and that it does not have an impact on body weight (21%).

Consumers also said that the top barriers faced to being active included the fact they find it hard to stay motivated (33%), they are too tired to exercise (24%), gym and exercise classes are too expensive (24%), and it is hard to find the time (21%).

“Aside from the environmental impact, scientists are increasingly suggesting that too much meat could be hazardous for people’s health,” ​said Jack Duckett, senior consumer lifestyles analyst at Mintel.

“Interest in the trend has undoubtedly been driven by the significant media attention the issue has received in recent years, while a number of high profile celebrities have also made it fashionable to explore vegetarian and vegan diets.

Losing weight

“For many people today, healthy eating is just a means to losing weight, which can therefore lead to frustration if it does not translate into weight loss. Similarly, with consumers indicating that they struggle to find the time to exercise, they can feel defeated before they have even started.

“As such, brands and retailers looking to encourage consumers into healthier habits can benefit from highlighting how small lifestyle changes can often be a more effective way for people to create sustainable changes to their lives.”

The research also revealed that young Brits were looking online for reliable information about healthy living. Mintel also found that younger consumers were more likely to trust online health information than doctors or pharmacists. When asked which source of information about healthy living they trusted the most, 63% of 16-24 year-olds said health professionals, while 65% said health websites and apps.

The Mintel ‘Healthy Lifestyles UK 2016’ report is available here​.

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