The Heart Foundation defines a plant-based diet as
“A diet rich in minimally processed foods such as fruit, vegetables, legumes, wholegrains, nuts and seeds and comprises smaller amounts of meat, poultry, fish, seafood and dairy”.
However, a scan conducted by two dietetics students (presented in our August newsletter) reveals wide variations in definitions across search engines, social media, and academic literature. Now to understand the health professionals’ views on a plant-based diet given their influential role as sharers of evidence-based health knowledge we conducted an online survey, titled “How Does a Health Professional Define a Plant-Based Diet”.
In total, there were 108 respondents
What do they perceive to be plant-based diet?
Where have they got their info from? (could select more than one option)
Would you recommend a plant-based diet to any of your clients?
If they responded “yes”, why:
If they responded “no”, why:
Our survey was relatively small and did not span across all health professionals. However, based on the variability of how a plant-based diet was defined in our results (and general media) we recommend that:
When communicating about plant-based diets, health professionals should define their interpretation of a plant-based diet, making note to declare whether their definition of a plant-based diet
Thank you to Shalee Harris and Rhianna Morgan for conducting this survey and thank you to all our participants for your time.
Click to read our Literature Scan: Defining a Plant-Based Diet
Over the past several years, there has been growing interest and attention on following a plant-based diet. The definition of a plant-based diet is often misunderstood, and as a result, varies widely. The information available across multiple platforms on plant-based diets is often misaligned and incorporates arms of alternative diets. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation is to examine the body of information on plant-based diets available to the New Zealand public across multiple platforms (visual media, podcasts, webpages, social media and blogs and literature).
Last modified: March 22, 2022