For many people, this is the most amusing story of the day. It is especially exciting to those who had been led to believe that their taste for animal flesh makes them morally inferior to the grass and berries crowd.
For some time now vegetarians appeared to have cornered the market in moral rectitude. Worse yet, they touted the health benefits of their diet as a sign that they were living in closer harmony with Nature.
If a recent Austrian study is to be believed, vegetarians have been wrong. Ridding your menu of all manner of animal protein effects your health and your quality of life negatively… this despite the fact that it lowers your body mass index.
Vegetarians may have a lower BMI and drink alcohol sparingly, but vegetarian diets are tied to generally poorer health, poorer quality of life and a higher need for health care than their meat-eating counterparts.
A new study from the Medical University of Graz in Austria finds that vegetarians are more physically active, drink less alcohol and smoke less tobacco than those who consume meat in their diets. Vegetarians also have a higher socioeconomic status and a lower body mass index. But the vegetarian diet — characterized by a 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.
It gets worse:
Overall, vegetarians 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.”
The researchers conclude: “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.”
The best news is: you no longer have to do penance for having a burger.