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Dietary changes of millennials to the Planetary Health Diet as a step towards a more sustainable future

Dietary changes of millennials to the Planetary Health Diet as a step towards a more sustainable future

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The impacts of the current food system and the consequences for future generations lead to the need of taking action in form of a dietary shift towards more plant-based diets. It is believed that this transition will not only benefit people’s wellbeing, but also prevents an exhausting exploitation of natural resources throughout the world. It will also serve countries and companies to meet international sustainable developmentgoals. The EAT Lancet commission developed the Planetary Health Diet as one action to contribute to a more sustainable food system. The diet suggests that half the plate is filled with vegetables, whereas animal source foods are reduced and subsidized by a plant- based option. The population of millennials is the largest group of consumers characterized by valuing their lifestyle, interconnectedness throughout the world and their overall goal of making a difference to the world. Since studies about people’s willingness to change diets were already present, this research focused on the great population of millennials and their food consumption orientations to answer the main research question: “To what extent are millennials willing to change their regular diet to the Planetary Health Diet from the EAT Lancet Commission?”. Therefore, an online survey was created to reach millennials including questions about food consumption orientations, current eating habits, enablers to change and willingness to change. Answer options were given in form of a 5-point Likert Scale to rate people’s (dis)agreement to those topics. Food consumption orientations were related to 2-3 criterion variables based on a Chi2-test. This methodological approach was adapted from Graça et al., 2019. The results of this study showed that millennials were health and pleasure oriented. They were following the typical “Western Diet” defined by a high intake of animal sourcefoods at least once a week. A rather large proportion considered themselves as flexitarians or vegetarians showing that over 30% ate vegetarian meals every day. Thus, millennials oriented towards health, convenience and natural concerns agreed to following the Planetary Health Diet. Their eating habits of consuming vegetarian meals already were in line with their willingness to change. Despite, the orientations towards pleasure, sociability and social image were not willing to change their diet or maintain status quo. This indicated that the target group was determined by their own choice of meals without feeling any external pressure on their choice. They act in line with their own interests, values and knowledge. All enablers have to be strengthened to achieve a successful change throughout the group of millennials. Otherwise only governmental regulations could help to start the needed dietary shift. It was recommended that future research is needed to explain millennials’ food consumption orientations related to current eating habits and willingness to change. To strengthen the enablers, food retailers should have more plant-based foods in their shelves and governmental policies should be adapted to higher taxation for animalsource foods. The consumer group should reflect on their behaviour and their influences on the environment by realizing the need of a potential dietary shift in order to maintain a healthy and liveable environment.

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OrganisatieAeres Hogeschool
AfdelingBedrijfskunde en Agribusiness
PartnersAeres University of Applied Sciences Dronten
Datum2020-08-09
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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