Study Claims Vegetarians Are Less Healthy Than Meat Eaters

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 04/04/2014 | 11:45 AM EDT

Researchers in Austria find that non-meat eaters have increase heart attacks and incidences of cancer

According to a study conducted in Austria, vegetarian diets may not be as healthy as previously thought. In fact, research showed that it may even lead to poorer health and a higher need for health care than their meat-eating counterparts.

The new study, which was conducted at the Medical University of Graz, finds that vegetarians are more physically active, drink less alcohol, smoke less tobacco, have a higher socioeconomic status and a lower body mass index (BMI). But the study also found that the vegetarian diet is - which includes low consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol that includes increased intake of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products - carries elevated risks of cancer, allergies and mental health disorders.

Vegetarians were twice as likely to have allergies, a 50 percent increase in heart attacks and a 50 percent increase in incidences of cancer. While most studies have put more of an emphasis on the health risks associated with red meat and carnivorous diets, this new study finds that overall vegetarians involved in the research were found to be in a poorer state of health compared to other dietary groups. Vegetarians reported higher levels of impairment from disorders, chronic diseases, and “suffer significantly more often from anxiety/depression.”


Subjects who consumed lower amounts of animal fat were also linked to poor health care practices, such as avoidance of vaccinations and a lack of preventive care. Chronic problems associated with vegetarians and people eating carnivorous diets rich in fruits and vegetables were linked to more frequent visits to doctors, which the study authors suggest requires public health programs to reduce the health risk due to their nutritional factors.

However, researchers caution that continuing studies will be needed to substantiate some of the broad dietary distinctions, associations presented in this current research. Still despite such researchers, the vegetarian diet is said to lower chances of heart disease and is a major source of nutrition.

Will this have any effect on the vegetarian community?

(Photo: Getty Images/Image Source)

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