Younger gens in Britain, US likelier to believe that meatless diets are healthier

Rishad Dsouza
January 05, 2022, 12:57 PM UTC

According to a YouGov Profiles survey, a third of Americans (32%) and just over a quarter of Brits (27%) believe that ‘a meatless diet is the healthier option’. This sentiment is the most prominent among the younger generations in both markets.

In Britain, a third of the members of Gen Z (34%) and Millennials (32%) believe that meatless diets are better for health. The level of agreement declines with each passing generation, with only a fifth of Baby Boomers (22%) saying meatless diets are healthier.

The scale follows a similar trajectory in the US, but with the exception that millennials, as opposed to members of Gen Z, are the likeliest to hold meatless diets as being a healthier option. Two in five of those born between 1982 and 1999 say meatless diets are healthier (39%). Overall, members in each generational bracket in the US are likelier than their British counterparts to believe that meatless diets are healthier.

How has this belief changed eating habits?

In markets, those who say meatless diets are healthier are significantly likelier than the general population to be vegetarian or vegan. In Britain, the group of people who hold meatless diets as being healthier are thrice as likely as the average population to be vegetarian (15% vs 5%), although they are only about as likely to be vegan (7% vs 6%).

In the US, those who feel meatless diets are healthier are significantly likelier to be vegan than the general American (6% vs 2%). Almost a tenth of them (9%) describe themselves as vegetarian compared to only one in 25 of all Americans (4%).

In both markets, the more popular choice among the group of people who believe meatless diets are healthier is to be flexitarian. Flexitarians are those who eat a mostly vegetarian diet with meat included occasionally. In Britain, one-fifth of those who feel meatless diets are healthier consider themselves flexitarian compared to just one-tenth of the overall population (20% vs 10%). This gap is less pronounced in the US (21% vs 14% of the overall population).

Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Data is from December 2021 datasets. Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.

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