New study debunks health benefits of a meatless diet.
By The American Bazaar Staff
WASHINGTON, DC: All you vegetarians out there; be warned – it turns out your leafy, meat-less existence might not be as healthy as you think it is.
A new study by Austria’s Medical University of Graz shows that, while vegetarians generally enjoy a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) and drink less alcohol, their overall health is poorer than those who indulge in the consumption of meat. The study also says that the quality of life for vegetarians is lower than that of meat-eaters, and that vegetarians are more likely to need healthcare than their omnivorous counterparts.
That’s not all – a vegetarian diet also carries with it an increased risk of cancer and mental health disorders. Vegetarians are twice as likely to have an allergy to some food, and are 50% more likely to have a heart attack at some point in their life. Why? Because vegetarians don’t consume animal fats, which is apparently critical to human well-being, and obviously don’t get nearly as much protein as meat-eaters do.
“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,” said the research team in a press statement. “Therefore, a continued strong public health program for Austria is required in order to reduce the health risk due to nutritional factors.”
The study comes as a surprise, as the general thinking has always been that consumption of meat often leads to ailments, either from improperly cooked meat or other reasons altogether. In 2009, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) concluded from a study of their own that fruits and vegetables were necessary in order to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, and that 1 out of every 200 American children (around 367,000 altogether) do not eat meat.
It’s not all fun and games for meat-eaters, however. Vegetarians will also enjoy a higher socioeconomic status, for the most part, in addition to the aforementioned beneficial factors. And, on the whole, it’s best to have a balanced diet that contains elements of both vegetables and meats, not a preponderance of one over the other.
But the next time someone tries to get you to eat a bite of chicken, saying “Come on, it won’t kill you,” just know that they’re actually right.