Today, people’s views for their current diets vary widely. About one in five say they prefer not to eat meat, poultry or fish and four in ten are interested in trying plant-based substitutes for meat. In a situation analogous to climate change denial or anti-vaccine fears, public opinion sees genetically-modified foods (GMOs) as controversial. Despite wide-spread support in the scientific community, a majority of those surveyed refuse to eat GMOs. As with many of these attitudes, there is a wide range of opinion from nation to nation. For instance, three quarters of those surveyed in Turkey would avoid GMOs compared to just 34% in the U.S. Organic foods continue to take hold with nearly three in ten stating that they only eat organic. Most say they prefer to eat locally-produced food even if that means having fewer foods to choose from.
These results are from a newly released survey conducted between August 24 and September 7, 2018 by Ipsos. More than 20,000 adults across 30 countries were surveyed online as part of the study. The data is being published as part of the latest What the Future report (https://gen-pop.com/wtf), focused on the future of food.
Ipsos also asked about diet and weight loss. A slim majority (54%) say they are satisfied with their current weight. A similar number say they have tried to diet as a weight loss technique, but an even larger majority (61%) believe that diets ultimately fail. Most would rather eat well to be thin (61%), although a high number (45%) say they exercise so they can eat whatever they like.
In terms of where people eat, 38% believe they will prepare more meals at home in the coming year and another 52% say they will cook about the same amount. Despite the rise of services like UberEats and Amazon grocery in the U.S. and similar services worldwide, relatively few think they will get more meals or groceries delivered to their homes.
When it comes to their future outlook, a plurality don’t see too much change coming. A little more than four in ten think that their access to healthy food, the quality of food they eat and the environmental impact of the food they eat will stay mostly the same. But in most countries those who feel there will be improvement in these areas outnumber those who think things will get worse. The major exception to the bullish feelings on the future of food is cost. Only three countries (India, China and Saudi Arabia, where those surveyed skew much more affluent and educated than the population in general) think the cost will improve.