Studies have been linking red meat consumption to health problems like heart disease, stroke, and cancer for years, but these invariably suffer from methodological limitations.
In an unprecedented effort, health scientists at the University of Washington scrutinized decades of research on red meat consumption and its links to various health outcomes, introducing a new way to assess health risks in the process.
They only found weak evidence that unprocessed red meat consumption is linked to colorectal cancer, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, and ischemic heart disease, and no link at all between eating red meat and stroke.
Key messages in this report
• Behaviour change is essential for achieving climate and environment goals, and for delivering wider benefits.
• The Government’s current approach to enabling behaviour change to meet climate and environment goals is inadequate to meet the scale of the challenge.
• The public want clear leadership on the areas of behaviour change they should prioritise, and they want the Government to lead a coordinated approach to help them adapt by making change easier and fairer.
• Priority behaviour change policies are needed in the areas of travel, heating, diet and consumption to enable the public to adopt and use green technologies and products and reduce carbon-intensive consumption.
• There is a need for greater leadership and coordination across Government departments and with wider society on behaviour change for climate and environmental goals.
• The Government needs to provide a positive vision and clear narrative on how the public can help achieve climate and environment goals, and to lead by example.
• Information is not enough to change behaviour; the Government needs to play a stronger role in shaping the environment in which the public acts, through appropriately sequenced measures including regulation, taxation and development of infrastructure.
• Fairness is key to effective behaviour change.
• Businesses have a critical role to play in enabling behaviour change through increasing the affordability and availability of greener products and services, and engaging customers and employees.
• Government should also support and celebrate civil society organisations, faith communities and local authorities delivering local behaviour change projects.
• Government should learn from examples of where it has effectively enabled behaviour change, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as from past failures.
A government research paper recommending people “shift dietary habits” towards plant-based foods has been hastily deleted.
The paper focuses on changing public behaviour to hit climate targets and also suggests promoting domestic tourism and portraying business travel as an “immoral indulgence”.
…In a chapter in the deleted document titled “Applications to Net Zero Policy”, under the subheading “Diet Changes”, researchers recommend following the example of the sugar levy with a tax on producers or retailers of “high-carbon foods” to incentivise “reformulation and diversification” towards more plant-based and local food types.
“For instance, even with public criticism being high, many still perceived government approval as the yardstick for safe behaviour during COVID-19 ‘we’re allowed to do this now [so must be safe]…’. This reveals, for many, a deep set reverence for legitimate government authority, regardless of one’s personal political views.”Net Zero: principles for successful behaviour change initiatives, p.24
This research looks at UK and OECD government-led behaviour change initiatives over the last 70 years. It identifies 9 principles that can be applied to encourage the behaviour change needed to achieve Net Zero.
The research was carried out by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT). It was commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
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Rob Verkerk, Founder, Executive and Scientific Director of the Alliance for Natural Health International, a scientist who has for 30 years been exploring positive ways to span the gulfs between science and the law, between academia and industry, and between governments and their people.
Ivor Cummins aka the Fat Emperor – gives James the lowdown on why you can’t trust anything our governments tell us about Covid-19. If you want the facts on Coronavirus – how deadly is it? do lockdowns and masks work? how does it compare with previous pandemics? – you’ve come to the right place
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