September 6, 2023
Brazil's dietary landscape has a great deal of regional diversity, with meat playing a crucial role across many dishes and set against the backdrop of a complex social structure. Patterns of meat consumption vary significantly across the country, influenced by regional traditions, social disparities, and economic factors. Any strategies to promote meat consumption reduction in Brazil will need to be region-specific and tailored to the specific audience. Behavioral science research, primarily from wealthier Western nations, has found that there are many barriers for individuals in reducing their meat eating, such as the lack of dietary knowledge, strong cultural and social norms supporting meat consumption, misperceptions about the health benefits of meat, and resistance to trying new foods. The research also points to several promising strategies to promote a more plant-based diet.This report describes the COM-B model that brings together many theories of behavior change. It proposes that for change to occur, one needs: 1) Capability to carry out the action - physical (being able to do it) and psychological (having the right knowledge and knowing how to do it). 2) Opportunity to perform it - physical (having the right chance to do it ) and social (affected by what our peers think and say). 3) Motivation to do it - automatic (feeling like doing it) and reflective (deciding to do it).The report adapts the COM-B to provide practical advice on how to promote eating less meat for Brazil, giving examples applicable specifically to Brazil.Key lesson for frontline workers: One must define the precise behavior and specific audience to be influenced. Before taking any action, one should identify who (i.e., the specific population on whom one is going to focus), when one wants the reduction to occur (e.g., at home, away from home, only at dinner), how much of a reduction one wants to see. Do not go for "everyone in society".