Despite leading healthier lifestyles and drinking less than meat eaters, a study has revealed that vegetarians are less healthy and happier on average.
The study conducted by the Medical University of Graz in Austria defined the vegetarian diet as a low consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol, due to a higher intake of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods.
They then used data from the Austrian Health Interview Survey comparing the dietary habits and lifestyles between meat-eaters and vegetarians.
This is bound to do nothing to help the already strained relationship between veggies and omnivores, where one feels persecuted while the other thinks non meat eaters are weirdos.
Already the backlash on Twitter has begun:
The science is settled hippies. Vegetarians are less healthy & have a lower quality of life than meat-eaters. http://t.co/Omh5PI7pgG
— Mark (@markc01) April 4, 2014
Vegetarians...less healthy and happy than carnivores...yessir http://t.co/RJOIWP87zf
— Reid Lowery (@reidlowe) April 4, 2014
With some fighting back:
— Darren J Beaney (@DJ_Be_An) April 4, 2014
Who believes in this nonsense!! "@SouleFacts: Vegetarians are less healthy and have a lower quality of life than meat-eaters,scientists say"
— Nitin Kashyap (@NitinKashyap_) April 4, 2014
"The 1320 subjects were matched according to their age, sex, 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," reported The Independent.
They found that although vegetarians drank less alcohol and had lower BMIs, they still had overall poorer physical and mental health.
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After the report came out, critics have said that it's a blatant advertisment for the meat industry. However, study coordinator and epidemiologist Nathalie Burkert told The Austrian Times: "We have already distanced ourselves from this claim as it is an incorrect interpretation of our data.
"We did find that vegetarians suffer more from certain conditions like asthma, cancer and mental illnesses than people that eat meat as well, but we cannot say what is the cause and what is the effect. There needs to be further study done before this question can be answered."
Vegetarians, what do you think?