One in ten children choosing not to eat meat, survey shows

44% of children are trying to cut down on meat amid fears over sensationalist coverage on the issue
44% of children are trying to cut down on meat amid fears over sensationalist coverage on the issue

One in ten British children identify as either vegan or vegetarian according to a new poll commissioned by food brand Linda McCartney.

The poll surveyed 1,500 British children from across the country and delved into their eating habits.

It shows that 10% of children from the ages of 8 to 16 are now vegetarian or vegan, completely disregarding meat in their diets.

The survey goes on to show that 44% are trying to cut back on their meat and dairy intake.

Main reasons behind the surge in meat-free diets in young people are animal welfare concerns (44%) and environmental concerns (31%).

However, 7% say they are adopting vegetarian and vegan diets merely because of social media, and 17% didn't eat meat because their parents didn't.

It follows fears that the British public are cutting back too much on meat amid increased sensationalist media coverage on the issue.

Nutritional experts have questioned whether social media exposure urging people to cut down on their meat consumption has gone too far.

They point out that some groups in society are deficient in the key nutrients that meat can provide – such as Iron, Zinc and Vitamin B12.

Independent nutritionist, Dr. Zoë Harcombe, said that red meat is 'nutrient dense' and the consumer should be' embracing it at any opportunity'.

The British Nutritional Foundation encourages parents to feed children a 'healthy, varied diet' to help ensure they obtain all the necessary nutrients they need for good health.

Meanwhile, Norway's new head of health made international news last week when she criticised the 'moral police' and their attempts to tell people what to eat.

In her first days as the country's new health minister, Sylvi Listhaug said people should be allowed to eat as much red meat as they want.