Nearly a quarter of consumers feel shamed about their meat eating habits, according to a recent survey from OnePoll.

Out of all the consumers surveyed, the figures revealed that 20% of meat-eaters claimed to have been criticised for their diet, with almost half (49%) admitting to changing their eating habits as a result to avoid further shaming.

The poll also uncovered that 54% of participants said they were unsure as to whether they should or shouldn’t meat in order to stay healthy. A further 40% said they are no longer sure what a ‘balanced meal’ looks like due to the mixed messages they receive from documentaries, TV advertising and advice from friends and family members.

The study is part of the ‘Your Plate, Your Choice’ campaign and is supported by former England rugby player and health and fitness expert, James Haskell, who said: “I have no issue with those who choose to become meat free but shaming those of us who don’t want to is simply wrong.

“There’s a lot of nonsense written about meat which I think is really dangerous. People shouldn’t be cutting out perfectly healthy elements of their diet altogether based on inaccurate or confusing information. The purpose of the ‘Your Plate, Your Choice’ campaign is to empower consumers to make sensible and healthy choices that suit their preferences and what’s right for them.”

“Meat is often unfairly demonised. The truth is you can absolutely eat meat and lead a healthy lifestyle.”

The campaign aims to bust common myths around what is best to eat for health and the environment – giving people the facts and encouraging consumers to make an informed and empowered choice about the right food for themselves and their families.

TV nutritionist and dietician, Nichola Ludlam-Raine, said: “Meat is often unfairly demonised. The truth is you can absolutely eat meat and lead a healthy lifestyle. What matters isn’t what you do and don’t eat, but how much and how often you eat certain foods.

“For anyone looking to achieve a healthier lifestyle this year, my recommendation is to maintain a varied and balanced diet – and to not ditch certain food groups – to give yourself the best possible chance of achieving vital nutrient intakes, and not missing out on health benefits.”