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Chefs have the potential to influence diet quality and food systems sustainability through their work. We aimed to assess the attitudes and perceptions of culinary students about nutrition and sustainability as part of their roles, responsibilities and future work as chefs.
We surveyed students attending the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in the fall of 2019 (n 546). Descriptive statistics compared food priority rankings and Likert-scale distributions of nutrition and sustainability attitudes and beliefs. Adjusted generalised linear models were used to evaluate whether there were differences in attitudes and beliefs across demographic groups.
The CIA, a private, not-for-profit college and culinary school with US campuses in New York, California and Texas.
Students >18 years old currently enrolled in any of the school’s associate’s or bachelor’s degree programs.
Students agreed that chefs should be knowledgeable about nutrition (96·0 %) and the environmental impact of their ingredients (90·8 %) but fewer considered healthfulness (57·8 %) and environmental impact (60·2 %) of their food to be primary considerations in their career as a chef. Taste was the primary factor influencing culinary students’ food choices but food priorities differed by race/ethnicity.
Culinary students believe nutrition and sustainability are important. Opportunities exist to empower them with knowledge and skills for promoting public health and sustainable food systems in their future work as chefs.
Excess meat consumption, particularly of red and processed meats, is associated with nutritional and environmental health harms. While only a small portion of the population is vegetarian, surveys suggest many Americans may be reducing their meat consumption. To inform education campaigns, more information is needed about attitudes, perceptions, behaviours and foods eaten in meatless meals.
A web-based survey administered in April 2015 assessed meat reduction behaviours, attitudes, what respondents ate in meatless meals and sociodemographic characteristics.
Nationally representative, web-based survey in the USA.
US adults (n 1112) selected from GfK Knowledgeworks’ 50 000-member online panel. Survey weights were used to assure representativeness.
Two-thirds reported reducing meat consumption in at least one category over three years, with reductions of red and processed meat most frequent. The most common reasons for reduction were cost and health; environment and animal welfare lagged. Non-meat reducers commonly agreed with statements suggesting that meat was healthy and ‘belonged’ in the diet. Vegetables were most often consumed ‘always’ in meatless meals, but cheese/dairy was also common. Reported meat reduction was most common among those aged 45–59 years and among those with lower incomes.
The public and environmental health benefits of reducing meat consumption create a need for campaigns to raise awareness and contribute to motivation for change. These findings provide rich information to guide intervention development, both for the USA and other high-income countries that consume meat in high quantities.
To describe the methods, strengths and limitations of available data sources for estimating US meat and protein consumption in order to facilitate accurate interpretations and applications.
We examined agricultural supply and dietary intake databases from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the US Department of Health and Human Services and the FAO to describe their methodology and to report the most recent estimates for meat and protein consumption.
Together, loss-adjusted agricultural supply data and dietary recall data provide the best available estimates of US consumption; the most recent sources indicated that US citizens (ages 2 years and over) consume 4·4–5·9 oz (125·9–166·5 g) of total meat and 6·2–7·4 oz-eq (175·2–209·4 g-eq) from the USDA Protein Foods Group per day. Meat constitutes the majority of intake within the Protein Foods Group, and red meat and processed meat constitute the majority of total meat intake. Nutrient supply data indicate that total meat represents an estimated 43·1 % of the total protein available in the US food supply, but without any loss-adjusted nutrient data, per capita protein intake is best estimated by dietary recall data to be 79·9 g/d.
In order to address public health concerns related to excess meat and/or protein consumption, practitioners, educators and researchers must appropriately use available data sources in order to accurately report consumption at the population level. Implications for comparing these estimates with various recommended intakes are discussed.
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