Showing results for: Public attitudes
A recent study published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes explores the perils of conducting economic research in a vacuum. The researchers found that after completing a lesson in calculative economics participants were significantly more likely to behave in selfish ways and ‘engage in unethical behaviors to better themselves’. However, those participants who instead completed a history lesson (in this case specifically on the industrial revolution) were less likely to behave selfishly after.
A new paper published in Futures urges discussions about unsustainable food consumption to include more consideration of consumer habits and practices. Responding to reports by the World Economic Forum and the European Commission, it hypothesises that technological innovations and ‘produce more with less’ approaches fail to take into account the varied and nuanced consumer attitudes that surround food, and therefore do not fully consider whether the public would ever actually adopt proposed solutions.
New data from Canadean based on a survey of 2000 individuals finds that many people in Britain are interested in trying insects and around 6% say that they would like to eat them regularly.
In 2013 the UK’s Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) released the publication entitled Household Food and Drink Waste in the UK 2012 which quantified the amounts, types and reasons for food and drink being wasted from UK households. It found that the amount of avoidable household food waste in 2012 (4.2 million tonnes per year) is equivalent to six meals every week for the average UK household. Preventing this food waste could save the average family up to £700 a year and deliver significant environmental benefits through landfill avoidance and by mitigating climate change (on the basis that this ‘unnecessary’ food would not need to be produced and hence all the costs associated with its production and distribution would be avoided).
This study from Monash University looks at the effects of introducing a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages across different income groups, comparing impacts on consumption, bodyweight and tax burden. They compare between introducing a flat rate 20% valoric tax and a 20 c/L volumetric tax and find that for low-income households the volumetric tax leads both to greater per capita weight loss and lower tax burden.
This study in BioScience compares coverage of biodiversity and climate change in newspapers, scientific articles, and research funding decisions, and finds that climate change eclipsed biodiversity loss as a priority in the mid-2000s.
The report investigates consumers’ meat eating patterns, the relationship with BMI, and their willingness to eat less meat or to eat meat that they may perceive to be ‘better’ in some way – eg. organic or free range.
This research from Wageningen University focuses on biotechnology and cultured meat. The same technology that is starting to be used to create new organs from stem cells, could in principle be used to produce meat.
This systematic review examines the most common persuasive techniques used to promote junk food to children on television. The study shows that the approaches most frequently used are: free toys, gifts, discounts and competitions, promotional characters and celebrities, and appeals to taste and fun to promote junk food to children. These persuasive techniques were found to be used more often when promoting unhealthy food. The study authors argue that a ban on junk food advertising to children under 16 would be an important measure to fight child obesity. NB: the study looks at which persuasive techniques were most commonly used – it doesn’t assess which are the most effective.