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Vegetarians Are 'Less Healthy' Than Meat-Eaters, According To Study

Rebecca Shepherd

| Last updated 

Vegetarians Are 'Less Healthy' Than Meat-Eaters, According To Study

There's no denying it, vegetarianism has many benefits - whether it's to preserve Earth's natural resources, to reduce your risk of certain diseases, or even a way of demonstrating your love of animals.

For many, it will all come down to that sluggish feeling you get after the meat-infused festive period - new year, new me and all that shite.

So, what would you do if we told you that research has suggested that meat-eaters are generally healthier than vegetarians? You'd go and make yourself a quick bacon butty, right? Well, at the very least, you might do if you were giving Veganuary a go but have no willpower.


The study, conducted by the Medical University of Graz in Austria, found that low consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol due to a higher intake of fruits and vegetables seemed to carry a higher risk of cancer, allergies and mental health problems.

Using data obtained from the Austrian Health Interview Survey, researchers examined the dietary habits and lifestyle differences between meat-eaters and vegetarians.

Researchers matched 1,320 subjects according to their age, sex, and socioeconomic status. These included 330 vegetarians, 330 who ate meat but still consumed a lot of fruit and veg, 300 regular eaters who ate less meat and 330 heavy meat-eaters.


Results indicated that despite the vegetarians drinking less alcohol and having lower BMI, they were still in worse physical and mental condition than their meat-eating counterparts.

Subjects who ate less meat were also found to have adverse health habits, such as avoiding going to the doctors.


It concluded: "Our study has shown that Austrian adults who consume a vegetarian diet are less healthy (in terms of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), have a lower quality of life, and also require more medical treatment."

Some have claimed that the study is a façade for a meat industry advertisement.

Study coordinator and epidemiologist Nathalie Burkert told the Austrian Times: "We have already distanced ourselves from this claim as it is an incorrect interpretation of our data.


"We did find that vegetarians suffer more from certain conditions like asthma, cancer and mental illnesses than people that eat meat as well, but we cannot say what is the cause and what is the effect.

"There needs to be further study done before this question can be answered."

What's next, meat-eaters have more sex than vegetarians? Oh wait, that's already a thing...

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Food, meat, Interesting, Vegetarian, Vegan, Community

Rebecca Shepherd
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