Replacing meat with alternative plant-based products (RE-MAPs): protocol for a randomised controlled trial of a behavioural intervention to reduce meat consumption.
Bianchi F., Aveyard P., Astbury NM., Cook B., Cartwright E., Jebb SA.
INTRODUCTION: Reducing meat consumption could contribute towards preventing some chronic conditions and protecting the natural environment. This study will examine the effectiveness of a behavioural intervention to reduce meat consumption. METHODS AND ANALYSES: Replacing meat with alternative plant-based product is a randomised controlled trial comparing a behavioural intervention to reduce meat consumption with a no intervention control condition. Eligible volunteers will be recruited from the general public through advertisement and randomised in a 1:1 ratio to receive no intervention or a 4-week intervention comprising the provision of free plant-based meat alternatives, written information on the health and environmental benefits of eating less meat, success stories of people who reduced their meat consumption and recipes. The primary outcome is the change in meat consumption at 4 weeks (T1) from baseline. Secondary and exploratory outcomes include changes in meat consumption at 8 weeks (T2) from baseline and changes from the baseline to both follow-up in other aspects of participants diet, putative psychosocial determinants of eating a low meat diet and of using meat substitutes and biomarkers of health risk, including blood lipid profiles, blood pressure, weight and body composition. Linear models will be employed to explore whether the changes in each of the aforementioned outcomes differ significantly between the control and intervention group. Qualitative interviews on a subsample of participants receiving the intervention will evaluate their experiences of the intervention and help to identify the mechanisms through which the intervention reduced meat consumption or the barriers preventing the intervention to aid this dietary transition. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The trial has been granted ethical approval by the Medical Sciences Interdivisional Research Ethics Committee (IDREC) of the University of Oxford (Ref: R54329/RE001). All results originating from this study will be submitted for publication in scientific journals and presented at meetings and through the media. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN13180635;Pre-recruitment.