Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Vegetarians more susceptible to allergies, cancer, heart disease and depression

March 31, 2014

A new study from the University of Graz contradicts the politically correct advantages usually attributed to vegetarianism. “… our results showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with poorer health (higher incidences of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), a higher need for health care, and poorer quality of life”. 

It would seem that vegetarianism is “more about an ideological message that suggests false promises”.

Nutrition and Health – The Association between Eating Behavior and Various Health Parameters: A Matched Sample Study by Nathalie T. Burkert, Johanna Muckenhuber, Franziska Großschädl, Eva Rasky, Wolfgang Freidl, PLOS One, February 2014, Volume9, Issue 2.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088278

Abstract: Population-based studies have consistently shown that our diet has an influence on health. Therefore, the aim of our study was to analyze differences between different dietary habit groups in terms of health-related variables. The sample used for this cross-sectional study was taken from the Austrian Health Interview Survey AT-HIS 2006/07. In a first step, subjects were matched according to their age, sex, and socioeconomic status (SES). After matching, the total number of subjects included in the analysis was 1320 (N = 330 for each form of diet – vegetarian, carnivorous diet rich in fruits and vegetables, carnivorous diet less rich in meat, and carnivorous diet rich in meat). Analyses of variance were conducted controlling for lifestyle factors in the following domains: health (self-assessed health, impairment, number of chronic conditions, vascular risk), health care (medical treatment, vaccinations, preventive check-ups), and quality of life. In addition, differences concerning the presence of 18 chronic conditions were analyzed by means of Chi-square tests. Overall, 76.4% of all subjects were female. 40.0% of the individuals were younger than 30 years, 35.4% between 30 and 49 years, and 24.0% older than 50 years. 30.3% of the subjects had a low SES, 48.8% a middle one, and 20.9% had a high SES. Our results revealed that a vegetarian diet is related to a lower BMI and less frequent alcohol consumption. Moreover, our results showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with poorer health (higher incidences of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), a higher need for health care, and poorer quality of life. Therefore, public health programs are needed in order to reduce the health risk due to nutritional factors.

Press Release (in German)

NoTricksZone summarises the findings:

The scientists examined a total of 1320 persons who were divided up into 4 groups of 330 persons each. All groups were comparable with respect to gender, age, and socio-economic status. The study also accounted for smoking and physical activity. Also the BMI was within the normal range for all four groups (22.9 – 24.9). The only thing that really was different among the four groups was the diet. The four groups were: 1) vegetarians, 2) meat-eaters with lots of fruit and veggies, 3) little meat-eaters and 4) big meat-eaters. More than three quarters of the participants were women (76.4%).

..the results contradict the common cliché that meat-free diets are healthier. Vegetarians have twice as many allergies as big meat-eaters do (30.6% to 16.7%) and they showed 166% higher cancer rates (4.8% to 1.8%). Moreover the scientists found that vegans had a 150% higher rate of heart attacks (1.5% to 0.6%). In total the scientists looked at 18 different chronic illnesses. Compared to the big meat-eaters, vegetarians were hit harder in 14 of the 18 illnesses (78%) which included asthma, diabetes, migraines and osteoporosis .

The Medical University of Graz confirms findings by the University of Hildesheim: More frequent psychological disorders among vegetarians, the press release writes.

…. the University of Graz found that vegetarians were also twice as likely to suffer for anxiety or depressions than big meat eaters (9.4% to 4.5%). That result was confirmed by the University of Hildesheim, which found that vegetarians suffered significantly more from depressions, anxiety, psychosomatic complaints and eating disorders [2]. The U of Graz scientists also found that vegetarians are impacted more by ilnessses and visit the doctor more frequently …….

Rosling’s health, wealth and statistics

January 31, 2014

Hans Rosling’s tour de force: 200 countries, 200 years, 4 minutes.

This is not new and I think I first saw it about 3 years ago.

But it is worth looking at not just for the content but also for the power of the presentation.

Just a reminder that the world is feeding more people than ever before, we are living longer than ever before, and things are not as black as some alarmists would have us think. And by 2100 total population will be declining.

The glass is more than half-full.

A much longer (20 minutes) presentation is also well worth watching.

The first 200 year old human has already been born

December 27, 2012

The journalist Henrik Lennart has a new book out  in Swedish – “Åldrandets gåta” (The Mystery of Aging), where he interviews the worlds leading researchers and demographers about aging. Our descendants will have to learn to have many careers within their lifetimes.

Science has long envisaged a limit to how long a person can live – around 120 years. But now research is catching up with our fantasies. Henrik Lennart interviews the world’s leading researchers specializing in aging. They all come to the same conclusion: We, and especially our children, will live far longer than is common today.

Why? Improved standards of living come into play but also our lifestyles. Advice from the experts can differ: eat fewer calories, stand up when you are working, fast or cut down on meat and sugar. These choices certainly affect the aging of cells, and when researchers finally find the genes that control lifespan and have learned how to control them, the question will become:

How old would we like to be?

Aftonbladet reports:

Some researchers believe that the first human who will live to be 200 years old is already living.

“According to our calculation, half of the children born in Sweden in 2012 will live to be 104 years old”, says demographer James Vaupel.  Life expectancy has increased steadily over the past hundred years. ….. Today, the average life expectancy in Sweden is 83 years for women and 79 for men.

In a new book “The Mystery of Aging” journalist Henrik Lennart has  interviewed demographers and scientists who believe that statisticians world-wide have systematically underestimated the rate of increase of life expectancy and that this has been going on for a very long time.

Statisticians have not fully considered the influence of welfare reforms, better living conditions and more efficient healthcare. To get a more accurate picture one of the world’s best-known demographers James Vaupel, along with a group of prestigious scientists have made new calculations where they have added a factor to reflect the impact of as yet unknown developments – not dramatic but which can be expected in the future.

Their calculations show that half of all the children born in Sweden this year will live to be 104 years old. “In the future, we could live to be ten times older. Why not? It will take time to get there but it is certainly not impossible. In my opinion it is quite likely that there is a rather small child already born somewhere who will live to be more than 200 years old”, says James Vaupel who is interviewed in “The Mystery of Aging.”

Svenska Dagbladet adds:

James Vaupel and Cambridge researcher Jim Oeppen have previously shown that the curve of women’s life expectancy in the Western world has increased at an even and steady pace of three months per year for 160 years. Swedish statistics extend further back than in most other countries, and this increase has been by an average of 2.5 months per year since 1751.

Previously, scientists believed that there was a ceiling for the average life expectancy of  a little over 80 years. Today this ceiling has shifted up at least a decade, and continues to rise.

“We no longer know if there is any ceiling and where it lies if it does exist”, says James Vaupel.

At this rate everybody will be living to around 200 years by 2500.

Cut out one hour of watching TV and you can smoke two extra cigarettes!

November 2, 2012

An Australian group of scientists have published the results of a new study in the October issue of The British Journal of Sports Medicine.

This then passes for “scientific research”!!!

From the New York Times:

…. Every single hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces the viewer’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.

By comparison, smoking a single cigarette reduces life expectancy by about 11 minutes, the authors said. ……

Ah well! They are scientists, probably wear white coats and could not possibly be idiots.

Settled Science? Smoking declines, lung cancer cases increase

December 1, 2010


I am afraid I find that whenever I hear the claim of “science being settled” – whether in medicine or astronomy or climate or physics – I am immediately suspicious that a political agenda is being pursued. Recent examples only convince me that there are few “scientific conclusions” free of a political agenda any more.
A new survey in the Upsala-  Örebro healthcare region of Sweden has found that though smoking has been declining since the 1970’s, the number of cases of lung cancer have increased by 41% since the mid 90’s.
Svenska Dagbladet reports (free translation):
To some extent this survey reflects smoking behaviour of a few decades ago since lung cancer typically develops only after several decades of intense smoking. But Associate Professor Gunnar Wagenius, chief physician at the University Hospital cancer clinic in Uppsala, is still surprised, given that smoking among men has fallen since the 1970s, while lung cancer cases have stopped falling and even started to rise again.
“It suggests that there are one or more additional factors other than smoking, which slowed this decline. What these factors might be is as yet very mysterious”, he told the Upsala Nya Tidning.
Lung cancer increased among women most as a consequence of changes in smoking habits. In the study, the researchers analyzed statistics from the regional registry for lung cancer, which started in 1995. The 598 registered cases in the seven counties in the healthcare region had risen to845 cases last year.
The study will be reported later today at the National Medical conference in Gothenburg.



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