Posts Tagged ‘quality of life’

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 …….

A ramble through electricity consumption and aspirations.

September 29, 2010

From the IEA 2010 World Energy Statistics, the country with the lowest electricity consumption is Haiti at 23 kWh /capita. The country with the highest consumption is Iceland with 49,818 kWh/capita. In between come Ethiopia at 42 kWh/capita, Kenya at 156, India at 566, Iraq at 1267, China at 2453, France at 7,703, the US at 13,647, Canada at 17,053 and Norway at 24,868 kWh/capita. For the world as a whole the average consumption is 2,782 kWh/capita.

The average is 18 times less than the maximum and the minimum is 120 times less than the average. And of course the average in every country itself represents an enormous spread between individuals.

To put this into the perspective of living standards and the quality of life, the electricity consumption of household goods is typically as follows:

  • One 60 W light –bulb for 8 hrs per day consumes 175 kWh/annum,
  • Typical 19” colour TV (70 W) for c. 5 hrs per day 125 kWh/annum
  • Table fan (20 W) for c. 12 hours per day 88 kWh/annum
  • Desktop computer (100 W) for 8 hours per day 290 kWh/annum
  • Refrigerator (80 W), continuously, 700 kWh/annum
  • Freezer 150 W continuously, 1300 kWh/annum

To have access to one 60 W light bulb when you have none is an enormous improvement in the quality of one’s life. To have access to a fridge so that shopping and cooking every day while also holding down a full-time job is no longer necessary is the difference between freedom and slavery for many women in the developing world. It is a sobering thought that if every Haitian used just one 60 W light bulb for 8 hours every day, the electricity consumption in Haiti (and therefore electricity generation) would increase seven-fold!


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