Socio-economic status impacts meat consumption and health, new study finds

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A new study establishes a link between low socioeconomic status and increased meat consumption and, as a result, compromised health.

According to research, published in an academic journal Appetite, those with lower socioeconomic status buy and consume more meat than those with higher.

One of the main reasons for this is that meat is, and always has been, associated with wealth and social status.

‘Desire’

Those who identified themselves as having lower socioeconomic status reported eating more meat due to societal ideas attached to it.

The study showed that the motivation came from “status they didn’t have”, rather “feeling hunger or power.”

Talk to Phys.org, Dr Zlatevska said: “There is a symbolic association between eating meat and strength, power and masculinity.

“It is traditionally a high-end food, presented for guests or as the centerpiece of festive occasions, so we wanted to better understand this link with status.”

Health

The study’s authors – Dr Eugene Chan of Monash Business School and Dr Natalina Zlatevska of UTS Business School – say the data can be useful to doctors.

They argue that understanding the factors that influence meat consumption can help curb it.

Dr Chan said: “Our research shows that while eating meat seems to confer a sense of power and status, it may have health implications for those who consider themselves lower on the socio-economic ladder.”

Emily Court is a writer and content creator published in Plant Based News, Raise Vegan, Living Vegan, and The Financial Diet. She describes herself as a “recovering vegan hothead,” she is now a down-to-earth member of Vancouver’s vibrant and growing plant energy community. Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, she holds a BA in Spanish and a Certificate in Intercultural Communication from Dalhousie University, where her thesis focused on topics of cultural and gender discrimination. She aims to apply a privilege aware and culturally sensitive approach to her work in all areas. More by Emily Court


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