Vegetarians Are ‘Less Healthy’ Asserts Recent Study

A vegetarian is someone who chooses to avoid the consumption of food stuffs derived from animals, occasionally with exception of dairy and sometimes fish. Vegetarianism is somewhat subjective but what is clear is that vegetarians generally avoid meat and eggs, consuming more fruit, veg and wholegrain products. Consequently their diets are often lower in saturated and trans fats leading to a consensus of opinion that vegetarians are healthier than non-vegetarians. However the study conducted at the Medical University of Graz in Austria has suggested that vegetarians are actually less healthy than meat-eaters, despite them drinking less alcohol, smoking less, and partaking in more physical activity!

This is of course only one study, and we know not to take the findings of one study in isolation, however this study used 1320 subjects relative to their age, gender and socioeconomic status and included 330 vegetarians, 330 that ate meat but still a lot of fruits and vegetables, 300 normal eaters but that ate less meat, and 330 on a more meat-heavy diet. The general findings were that vegetarians consumed less alcohol and had lower BMI’s, but despite this were seen to be in an overall poorer state of physical and mental health. The researchers state:

“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.”

This is a bold assertion, but the findings are interesting and pave the way for future research in this area.


The Independent, (2014). Vegetarians are 'less healthy and have a lower quality of life than meat-eaters', scientists say. Retrieved 8th April, 2014, from

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!


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