In a significant finding, new research indicates that only 12% of the U.S. population is responsible for consuming 50% of the nation's daily meat intake. Notably, the majority of individuals within this cohort are men between the ages of 50 and 65.
The research, which appeared in the scientific journal called, "Nutrients," aims to contribute to educational initiatives concerning the environmental risks associated with meat consumption, according to the authors. The scholarly team behind the study advocates for reducing meat intake as a measure to mitigate climate change.
In a statement, Diego Rose, the study's lead and senior author, who also serves as the professor and director of the nutrition program at Tulane University's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine said, "We focused on beef because of its impact on the environment, and because it’s high in saturated fat, which is not good for your health."
According to the New York Post, approximately 30 billion pounds of beef were consumed by Americans in 2021. The researchers acknowledge that persuading this particular 12% of the population to alter their dietary habits could pose a significant challenge.
“On one hand, if it’s only 12% accounting for half the beef consumption, you could make some big gains if you get those 12% on board,” Rose said. “On the other hand, those 12% may be most resistant to change.”
Oddly, the study's authors hypothesize that the higher consumption of red meat among men is influenced by cultural norms, rather than the appeal of its flavor.
“This may be because meat, especially red meat, is associated with masculinity, strength and power in Western culture,” they stated.