Climate labels on food lower red meat consumption, study finds

Consumers consume less red meat when they label fast food items with climate impact, according to a study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study was authored by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

In this study, fast food items were labeled to indicate their potential impact on global climate.

Items made from chicken, fish, or vegetarian items were labeled green to indicate positive environmental impact. Items made from red meat were labeled red to indicate that they are more impacted by climate change.

23.5% more participants chose sustainable menu items compared to a control group that received a neutral label.

“The results of this randomized clinical trial show that climate impact menu labels, especially those with negative frames that emphasize climate impact items (red meat), can reduce red meat choices and encourage more sustainable choices. suggesting that it is an effective strategy for .

The authors also noted that people who ate more sustainably perceived their diets to be healthier. It has been noted that this is a problem because of the added saturated fat.

“Putting sustainability labels on unhealthy products can mislead consumers into consuming unhealthy foods as healthy. However, the extent to which fast food menu items affect perceptions of health is currently unknown,” the study authors wrote.

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