98% of Chinese people say they are willing to eat more plant-based diets when shown the benefits

Education is the key to the adoption of plant-based diets! This is the key takeaway from a survey of over 1,000 Chinese consumers commissioned by ProVeg Asia, which found that once consumers learn about the benefits of eating more plant-based foods, almost all of them are willing to do so.

How much do Chinese consumers know about plant-based diets?
As a starting point, the ProVeg Asia team wanted to assess how familiar Chinese consumers were with the benefits of eating a plant-based diet.

We gave 1,000 Chinese consumers 15 statements highlighting the health, environment, animal protection, food security, and taste advantages of plant-based diets, and asked them to say whether they ‘strongly agree’, ‘agree’, ‘disagree’ or ‘completely disagree’ with each statement.

The 15 statements included the following facts:
– A balanced plant-based diet can help to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes.
– Plant-based diets can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50%.

– The healthiest and most sustainable diets are predominantly comprised of plant-based foods.

On average, only 49% of the respondents agreed with the statements. However, after being shown the supporting science behind the statements, a remarkable 98% of total respondents were either ‘willing’ or ‘strongly willing’ to add more plant-based food to their diets!

The art of persuasion
In general, the positive health benefits of eating more plants were the most persuasive reasons for the 1,000 Chinese consumers surveyed to make the shift to eating a more plant-based diet.

Of these benefits, the fact that plant-based diets lower the risk of developing antibiotic resistance was shown to be particularly compelling, despite the low agreement rate before being shown the scientific research. Other benefits, such as lower rates of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and obesity, as well as the higher bioavailability of calcium in plant-based foods, were also convincing reasons for our participants to make the shift to plant-based eating.

This makes sense, given that the recent coronavirus pandemic originated in China, and that its severe social and economic consequences got everyone thinking more carefully about their health.

Generating mass diet change
This new research indicates that education is the key to generating a mass dietary shift – once respondents learned about the benefits of adopting more plant-based diets, they were willing to change their eating habits.

“We found that most people are concerned about eating healthy food and that once they learn just how healthy and climate-friendly plant-based food is, they intend to eat a lot more of it,” commented Shirley Lu, of ProVeg Asia.

What does this all mean and what are the implications? Well, it shows there’s still a lot of work to be done! Although the benefits of eating more plants are well-documented, it seems that this information either isn’t public knowledge or the waters are muddied by misinformation – or both!

Did you find this information interesting? Get access to the full report here!

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