Vegetarians are less healthy than meat-eaters, says a study, even though vegetarians don’t consume as much alcohol and smoke less.
A study done by the Medical University Graz in Austria surveyed 1,320 individuals and matched them according to their age, sex, and socioeconomic status.
Although vegetarians have a higher socioeconomic status, drink less alcohol, smoke less, and are more likely to be physically active, their dietary habit might not be as healthy.
The study determined that adults who follow a vegetarian diet are less healthy, in terms of cancer, allergies and mental health disorders, compared to other dietary habit groups.
Researchers also determined that vegetarians have a lower quality of life, and also require more medical treatment.
“When analyzing the frequency of chronic diseases, we found significantly higher cancer incidence rates in vegetarians than in subjects with other dietary habits,” said the study.
Authors of the study said vegetarians are vaccinated less often than individuals in all other dietary habit groups. They also submit to check-ups less frequently than those who eat meat.
Researchers also determined that vegetarians have a lower quality of life in the domains of “physical health” and “environment.” The study said vegetarians are not doing so well in regards to “social relationships” than those who follow a rich diet involving meat, fruits and vegetables, or people with a less rich carnivorous diet.
“Overall, our findings reveal that vegetarians report poorer health, follow medical treatment more frequently, have worse preventive health care practices, and have a lower quality of life,” concluded the study.
The information for the research was from the Austrian Health Interview Survey, which ran from March 2006 to February 2007.