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Environmental Awareness and Concern of the “carbon Cost” of Activities and Food Choice in Male University Gym Users, with Particular Reference to Protein Consumption

Part of the World Sustainability Series book series (WSUSE)

Abstract

The aims of this study were to (a) determine the extent to which university gym-users understood the environmental impact of common activities & foods, particularly protein consumption, and (b) explore factors considered important when purchasing food, and determine whether knowledge was associated with behaviour. 43 males (18–24 years) completed a four part questionnaire. Responders were asked to (1) read a passage about the life an active male and consider which components contributed most to his ‘carbon footprint’, (2) rate the environmental impact of common foods (3) describe their own protein consumption habits, and (4) identify which factors they considered important when buying food. It was found that (1) Few responders considered diet as factor contributing to a carbon footprint, focusing on more ‘visible’ activities such as driving, (2) Most responders were unsure of environmental impact of foods, especially foods grown out of season and dairy produce, (3) 68 % of responders consumed protein supplements and (4) No responders stated that environmentally-friendly packaging or country of origin was ‘very important’. In summary, there is low awareness of the environmental cost of activities and foods among university males. Ethical concern over food choice was somewhat higher in respondents with a higher environmental knowledge.

Keywords

  • Carbon footprint
  • Protein consumption
  • Food choice

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Correspondence to Kate E. Reed .

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Reed, K.E. (2017). Environmental Awareness and Concern of the “carbon Cost” of Activities and Food Choice in Male University Gym Users, with Particular Reference to Protein Consumption. In: Leal Filho, W. (eds) Sustainable Development Research at Universities in the United Kingdom. World Sustainability Series. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47883-8_9

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