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The Association between Eating Behavior and Various Health Parameters: A Matched Sample Study

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by xrunner, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. xrunner

    xrunner Senior Member

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    http://www.plosone.org/article/fetc....1371/journal.pone.0088278&representation=PDF

    Large study comparing the health profile of different dietary habits: vegetarian, carnivorous diet rich in fruits and vegetables, carnivorous diet less rich in meat, and carnivorous diet rich in meat.

    Conclusions

    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. Therefore, a continued strong public health program for Austria is required in order to reduce the health risk due to nutritional factors. Moreover, our results emphasize the necessity of further studies in Austria, for a more in- depth analysis of the health effects of different dietary habits.


    The main weakness of the study, I think, is that it doesn't answer the question of whether dietary choices cause or rather follow the health problems identified. Nonetheless the large population and timeframe give some food for thought.
     
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  2. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    I think most of that risk would come from ignorance of how to approach a vegetarian or vegan diet properly. Some enthusiastic types might just go straight for eating all the veggies, without paying attention to the unavoidable need to supplement certain vitamins. And it requires a lot more planning to get sufficient amounts of the proteins and fats which the body needs. Complications will also arise if they "believe" that eating dirt, excrement, bacteria, etc with an unwashed vegetable is a good thing.

    I have an excessively healthy friend who is a life-long vegetarian, but she, her parents, and her siblings approach it in a very intelligent and scientific manner. So I really think the problems arise from ignorance, and not from the general underlying concept of not eating meat.
     
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  3. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    This isn't about eating behaviour, it's vagely about content of diet.

    It isn't comparing processed foods versus natural ones - something which is far more likely to have an impact on health.

    I was hoping, given the title, that it was going to be about the business of it being recommended that one should eat 3 times a day and have breakfast as the biggest meal, because I eat once a day only, and late at night, and I'm still searching for some research that says what I do is just fine. It certainly suits me, and has done for most of my life.:)
     
  4. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    I think that just means that you're a cat trapped in the wrong body :D
     
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  5. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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  6. Ambrosia_angel

    Ambrosia_angel Senior Member

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    I agree with valentijn. You can be a really unhealthy vegan and vegetarian. There are tons of vegetarians who pig out on cakes and food which are way too high is fats and sugars whereas there will be meat eaters who eat very healthy foods. This makes this study already inaccurate. The only way to test things like whether meat is good or bad is to give lab rats the same exact meals except one group receive shop bought mainstream meat and the other do not.
     
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  7. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    To contrast with my healthy vegetarian friend, I have a teenage cousin who's "vegetarian-except-bacon-and-hamburgers" but also doesn't eat vegetables. So it's a lot of starches, cheeses, etc, and no vitamins or most other useful nutrients. Extremely unhealthy.
     
  8. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    :rofl:

    a junkivore then? Junkarian?
     
  9. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    What IS the fascination with bacon?o_O
    It's overloaded with salt and other vile chemicals - it's horrible processed garbage!:nervous:
     
  10. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Usually ... but you can also get thick-sliced bacon fresh from the butcher :woot:
     
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  11. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    But it's still full of salt and chemicals. That's what makes pork into bacon. The "curing".

    And yes, I get all my meat from my lovely local butcher. :)
    The one cookery book I have that I trust implicitly (the authour, Marcella Hazan, is a biochemist, she knows how to write methodology, and is full of interesting tips and reassuring statements such as;
    "Don't worry if it goes all peculiar at this point - it will sort itself out later.".
    At the beginning of the chapter on meat, she issues a critically important instruction.
    "Make friends with your butcher."

    She's right.:)
     
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  12. Ambrosia_angel

    Ambrosia_angel Senior Member

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    I have no idea. It smells pretty bad to me. It's one food I'm happy I've never ate before. v_v
     
  13. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    It is less than clear that eating meat is a health risk of itself. However meat eaters often eat more junk food. From the studies I have read there is an issue that processed meats, and that includes bacon, are a health hazard, increasing risk of health complications. There is also the issue that the favourite type of beef, for example, is grain and antibiotic fed. Issues with foods like this might not be from the fact its meat, but how we produce the meat. A similar story is involved in farmed fish, battery chickens etc, etc.

    Similarly there are big issues arising with vegetables due to nutrient depletion in farming soils. The quality of our vegetables is in general declining. Further, the increased use of herbicides and insecticides, which in the long term is self defeating as they promote development of resistance, means that non-organic food is becoming less healthy in other ways. Finally there is the cost and availability of organic food - pensioners like me cannot afford it.

    Its not the vegetables or even meats that are a big problem, but what we get in the supermarket is a very different product to what our ancestors would be eating.

    I still think its very hard for someone to balance a vegetarian diet if they have ME. Its not impossible, its just very difficult, and if you are very sick that could make it impossible. Some vitamins are also mandatory, including B12, which of course means avoiding cyanocobalamin, the cheap and nasty B12.

    Finally, the sicker I get the worse I eat. The causal direction is the opposite of what the public health message implies.
     
  14. beaker

    beaker CFS/ME 1986

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    Ain't that the sad truth. If only I could afford a private chef : )

    ed typo
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
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  15. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Because people like the taste! A lot of junk food is appealing to many people for that reason (and I include sweets, cakes, biscuits, etc. in junk food.)

    But salt is essential for life, as anyone who has suffered from severe hyponatraemia knows (as I do). Many of us need a lot of salt (as I do). I agree on the other stuff, like nitrites, which are toxic.
     
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  16. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I strongly suspect that poverty-related malnutrition was one of the admittedly-many causal factors in the development of my ME. Nutritional deficiencies are implicated in many illnesses, with some having a clear, proven causal relationship.
     
  17. Ambrosia_angel

    Ambrosia_angel Senior Member

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    With my new health venture it is very expensive to buy organic produce sadly. The good foods are always tons more expensive at the end of the day.
     
  18. golden

    golden Senior Member

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  19. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    Correlation is not causation, specifically it suggests nothing about directionality of causation. It may be that people with more allergies, mental health disorders, cancers etc are likely to choose to eat a vegetarian diet rather than the other way around.

    There are plenty of other studies showing health benefits, so the conclusion of a meta-analysis might be quite different.
     
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  20. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    You'd assume that before getting to the point of publishing something, they should have been aware of that very basic principle beforehand, @Snow Leopard.
     

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