New Poll Says 32% of U.S. Youth Eat Vegetarian at Least Once a Week

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

Children are our future - at least according to Whitney Houston. So when it comes to creating a sustainable food system (someday! maybe! hopefully!), young people matter.

That's why the results of the Vegetarian Resource Group's (VRG) recent study on youth eating habits is particularly interesting. The national online survey polled over 1,200 U.S youth ages 8-18. Check out the results after the jump.

See also: Ten Best Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

The pollers (Harris Poll) asked kiddos to choose from the following options:

1) You never eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry.

2) You don't eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry at one meal per week.

3) You don't eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry one full day per week.

4) You don't eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry at many of your meals,

but less than half the time.

5) You don't eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry at more than half of

your meals, but not all the time.

6) You never eat meat, fish, seafood, poultry, dairy, or eggs.

7) Not any of the above. No answer.

The results were interesting. 32% of U.S. youth said they eat vegetarian meals at least once a week, while four percent called themselves full-time vegetarians (meaning they never eat any meat, fish, seafood, or poultry). Vegans are included in this number, and total about one percent of youth responders.

Though the polls were different (so it's tough to do a direct comparison) the VRG's 1995 survey showed under two percent of youth as being vegetarian.

Based on US Census numbers, this means there are about two million vegetarians in the U.S. 8-18 years old, while about 15 million eat one or more vegetarian meals per week.

The numbers for youth are a bit lower than amongst the adult population, where 41% (18 to 34 year-olds) eat one or more vegetarian meals per week (as of 2012).

"We would say that vegetarian eating is a trend here to stay," says VRG's Charles Stahler. "Currently, people have different tastes and desires, so businesses have to adapt to meeting different kinds of needs, rather than one answer for everybody."

(And for meatless-minded youngsters, the VRG does offer an annual scholarship contest. One of this year's winners was actually from Florida. )

Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahgetshappy.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.