12% of Americans account for 50% of US beef consumption - report

Men more likely to consume a disproportionate beef diet
calendar icon 8 September 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

New research from Tulane University, supported by the Center for Biological Diversity, found that half of all beef eaten on a given day in the United States is consumed by 12% of the population, according to a press release from the Center for Biological Diversity.

The research, released in the journal Nutrients, found men were more likely than women to consume a disproportionate beef diet, defined by the study’s authors as more than 4 ounces of beef per 2,200 calories. Older adults, college graduates and those who looked up the MyPlate educational campaign online were less likely to consume a diet disproportionately focused on beef.

“Given the harm from beef consumption to the environment and to people’s health, it’s helpful to know who is consuming these lopsided diets so we can better target educational programs,” said Diego Rose, one of the study’s authors.

A 2020 study by the University of Michigan and Tulane University and supported by the Center found that if US beef consumption were reduced by 90% along with a 50% reduction in consumption of other animal products, it would prevent more than 2 billion tons of greenhouse gas pollution by 2030. That’s roughly equivalent to taking nearly half the world’s cars off the roads for a year.

“Many Americans are eating nearly eight times more beef in a day than what’s recommended for an Earth-friendly diet,” said Mark Rifkin, senior food and agriculture policy specialist at the Center. “There’s no way around the fact that if we’re going to address climate change, we have to eat a lot less beef.”

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