The lower rate of mortality for vegetarians is due to eating less meat

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For[edit | edit source]

  • The 2010 version of Dietary Guidelines for Americans[1], a report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services every five years, states that:
    • "In prospective studies of adults, compared to non-vegetarian eating patterns, vegetarian-style eating patterns have been associated with improved health outcomes – lower levels of obesity, a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and lower total mortality. Several clinical trials have documented that vegetarian eating patterns lower blood pressure."
    • "On average, vegetarians consume a lower proportion of calories from fat (particularly saturated fatty acids); fewer overall calories; and more fiber, potassium, and vitamin C than do non-vegetarians. Vegetarians generally have a lower body mass index. These characteristics and other lifestyle factors associated with a vegetarian diet may contribute to the positive health outcomes that have been identified among vegetarians."
  • A 1999 meta-study of five studies comparing vegetarian and non-vegetarian mortality rates in Western countries found that, in comparison with regular meat eaters, mortality from ischemic heart disease was 34% lower in people who ate fish but not meat (pescetarians), 34% lower in ovo-lacto vegetarians, 26% lower in vegans, and 20% lower in occasional meat eaters.[2]

Against[edit | edit source]

  • An analysis of the Oxford Vegetarian Study and one other study found that although mortality rate for vegetarians was lower, their "death rates are similar to those of comparable non-vegetarians, suggesting that much of this benefit may be attributed to non-dietary lifestyle factors such as a low prevalence of smoking and a generally high socio-economic status, or to aspects of the diet other than the avoidance of meat and fish." Death rates were calculated for diseases thought to be diet-related.[3]

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Citations[edit | edit source]