Last week, we reported on latest research indicating that eating seven portions of fruit and vegetables per day increased life expectancy. However, a new and controversial study has made some conclusions that despite being more physically active than carnivores, vegetarians are less healthy.
1320 subjects in Austria were matched according to their age, sex, and socioeconomic status and included 330 vegetarians, 330 that ate meat but still a lot of fruits and vegetables, 300 normal eaters but ate less meat, and 330 on a more meat-heavy diet.
It found that vegetarians consumed less alcohol and had lower body mass indexes, but were still in a poorer state of physical and mental health overall.
Participants who ate less meat also had poorer health practices, such as avoiding attending doctors appointments for preventative check-ups and measures such as vaccines, the authors found.
The study’s authors have already defended the research against claims that their work is simply an advertisement for the meat industry.
Study coordinator and epidemiologist Nathalie Burkert told The Austrian Independent: “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.”