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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jul;60(7):828-37. Epub 2006 Feb 1.

Public views of the benefits and barriers to the consumption of a plant-based diet.

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Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia.



The aim of this study was to examine consumers' perceived benefits and barriers to the consumption of a plant-based diet.


Mail survey that included questions on perceived benefits and barriers to the consumption of a plant-based diet.


Victoria, Australia.


Four hundred and fifteen randomly selected Victorian adults.


The main perceived barrier to adoption of a plant-based diet was a lack of information about plant-based diets (42% agreement). Sex, age and education differences were present in over a quarter of the barrier items. For example, non-university-educated respondents and older people were less willing to change their current eating pattern than were university educated and younger respondents. The main benefits associated with plant-based diets were health benefits, particularly decreased saturated fat intake (79% agreement), increased fibre intake (76%), and disease prevention (70%). Age, sex and education differences with regard to benefits were apparent, although sex differences were more important than age or education differences.


The majority of respondents perceived there to be health benefits associated with the consumption of a plant-based diet. Compared with the proportion of respondents who agreed that there were particular benefits of eating a plant-based diet, perceived barriers were relatively low. An understanding of the perceived benefits and barriers of consuming a plant-based diet will help formulate strategies that aim to influence beliefs about plant foods, plant food consumption, and, ultimately, public health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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