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    Mondays have had a makeover

    Author | Judith Friedlander

    I do like Mondays! The much-maligned Monday has had a makeover.

    U.S. research from John Hopkins, Syracuse and Columbia Universities in the United States has found that Monday has a head start when it comes to days that inspire and motivate. Signifying the start of the new week and a fresh turn of events, Monday can be the turning over of a new leaf, a new beginning.

    The U.S. university research which has resulted in The Monday Campaigns, has shown that people use Monday to “set goals, refocus and recommit, a day to trigger and sustain healthy behaviour”.

    Key findings include:

    • Frequent, periodic health messaging taps into an effective weekly rhythm.

    • One study found that 57 per cent of people saw Monday as an opportunity for a fresh start and a day to “get my act together”.

    • People are more likely to start diets, exercise regimens, quit smoking and schedule doctor’s appointments on Monday than any other day.

    • Internet searches related to health behaviours are higher on Monday than on other days of the week.

    Healthy Monday activities have especially caught on in the social media arena, with hundreds of bloggers and websites, not counting Healthy Monday’s own numerous sponsors and partners, featuring Healthy Monday programs each week.

    Meat Free Monday, also known as Meatless Monday, is one of The Monday Campaigns’ star vehicles. It was developed in 2003 to raise awareness of the negative impacts of livestock production and meat consumption and to change consumer behaviour.

    The campaign’s goal is for a general reduction in saturated fat intake of 15 per cent with a focus on reducing meat and high-fat dairy and a 15 pc reduction in meat consumption.

    The initiative has been adopted around the world in North and South America, Europe, Asia, South Africa and locally. Municipalities that actively promote the campaign include Ghent in Belgium, Sao Paulo in Brazil, San Francisco and Washington in the United States and Cape Town in South Africa.

    Meat Free/Meatless Monday has also had great success with catering organizations. The U.S. organization, Sodexo, is one of the country’s largest food service companies and has implemented the option of a plant-based hot main course to its menus in more than 900 hospitals around the country.

    Sustainable Food Matters editor, blogger and writer, Judith Friedlander, is a journalist and post-graduate university researcher.  She draws upon her background as newspaper editor and feature writer with The Australian, The Sun-Herald and The Sydney Morning Herald and television producer and researcher (Down to Earth documentary and Channel Nine, Sydney).  At the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney, she is currently examining the role of the media in contributing to successful environmental campaigns. Visit her blog at Sustainable Food Matters.

    Meat Free Mondays ,