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Tags: vegetarian | cancer | mental | health | risk | diet

Vegetarian Diet Linked to Cancer, Mental Health Risk

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 03:30 PM EDT

People who follow vegetarian diets are more likely to have generally poorer health, a poorer quality of life, and a higher need for healthcare than their meat-eating counterparts, according to a new Austrian study.
CBS News reports that medical researchers from the Medical University of Graz found that while vegetarians tend to be more physically active, drink less alcohol, and smoke less tobacco than those who consume meat they also tend to have higher risks for cancer, heart problems, allergies, and mental health disorders.

In fact, vegetarians are twice as likely to have allergies, and face a 50 percent increase in heart attacks and certain types of cancer.

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"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 researchers concluded. "Therefore, a continued strong public health program for Austria is required in order to reduce the health risk due to nutritional factors."
The findings, published in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS One, are based on an examination of Austrian dietary habits, demographic characteristics, and general lifestyle differences.
The results conflict with a mountain of past studies linking significant health risks with red meat and carnivorous diets. Much research has also shown people who eat diets rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains live longer and have better health than those who don't.

Even the Austrian researchers cautioned that others studies will be needed to substantiate some of the key findings of their research. But they suggested their conclusions might be explained by other factors. For instance, vegetarians have higher levels of impairment from certain disorders and chronic diseases, and suffer significantly more often from anxiety and depression. They are also more likely to engage in poor healthcare practices, such as avoiding vaccinations and preventive care, than meat eaters.

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Vegetarian diets are associated generally poorer health, poorer quality of life, and a higher need for healthcare, a surprising new Austrian study suggests.
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 03:30 PM
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