China Urges Its Citizens to Eat Less Meat

New Chinese dietary guidelines slash meat consumption recommendations for more than one billion people.

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China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission recently updated its 2007 dietary guidelines to reduce the recommended amount of meat consumption in the country. The new guidelines cut meat recommendations by .35 ounces per capita per day from the 1.8–2.6 ounces range established in 2007. According to industry media outlet, China is the largest meat consumer in the world and accounts for 31.2 percent of global meat consumption. Health concerns such as skyrocketing obesity rates—which rose from 22.8 percent in 2002 to a staggering 30 percent in 2012—and a “rapid increase” in incidences of diabetes are the drivers behind this change. Other nations promoting the reduction of meat and dairy consumption for its citizens—for both health and environmental reasons—include the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. While early drafts of the United States Dietary Guidelines looked promising, the final implemented recommendations did not urge Americans to consume fewer animal products.

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