Informing Health and Environmental Policies to Reduce Red and Processed Meat Intake in North America: Sociodemographic Predictors of Consumption in the US, Canada, and Mexico
Current Developments in Nutrition
Objectives Close economic ties have encouraged production and trade of meat between the US, Canada, and Mexico. Understanding the sociodemographic correlates of red and processed meat intake in North America may inform policies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and non-communicable diseases. Methods Data were from one day of 24-hour dietary recall in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2013–2016), Mexico National Health and Nutrition Survey (2016), and Canadian
... 6), and Canadian Community Health Survey (2015). Adult participants were classified as consumers or non-consumers of the following three categories: red meat (mammalian muscle and organ meat); processed meat (all meats processed for preservation and flavor); and any meat (red and/or processed meat). Negative binomial regression accounting for complex survey design was used to model sociodemographic correlates (sex, ten-year age categories, wealth, and education) of being a consumer of red, processed, and any meat. Results The overall prevalence of any meat consumption in a given day was higher in the US (74%) than in Canada (66%) or Mexico (63%). Age was not associated with meat intake. In the US and Canada, females were less likely to consume all three categories of meat (all P < 0.001). In Mexico, females were less likely to be in the any meat consumer category (P < 0.001). Compared to high school or lower, those with college education or higher were less likely to consume processed (all P < 0.05) and any meat (all P < 0.05). In the US only, college education or higher was associated with a lower likelihood of eating red meat (P < 0.001). There was no association between education and meat intake in Mexico. Compared to the lowest wealth tertile, in Canada and Mexico, individuals in the highest wealth tertile were more likely to consume processed (all P < 0.01) or any (all P < 0.01) meat. In Mexico only, those with greater wealth were more likely to eat red meat (P < 0.05). There was no association between wealth and meat intake in the US. Conclusions Overall consumption of red and processed meat remains high in North America. Although the sociodemographic predictors vary across country, population-based approaches to reduce meat intake are appropriate for all three settings. Funding Sources Carolina Population Center; Wellcome Trust.