A serving of meat a day keeps the doctor away

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Pork Dish What does mental health and eating meat have in common? According to the Medical University Graz, Austria, it’s quite a bit.

A recently published study found that research subjects who regularly went with the meat option were overall healthier than their vegetarian peers – and happier.

The cross-sectional study observed subjects demographics, lifestyles and dietary habits from an Austrian Health Interview Survey.

“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,” says researchers.

Researchers outlined mental health disorders mainly as anxiety and depression.

“Vegetarians in our study suffer significantly more often from anxiety disorder and/or depression. Additionally, they have a poorer quality of life in terms of physical health, social relationships, and environmental factors.”

While the study found vegetarians tend to have lower body mass indexes, be more physically active, drink less and smoke tobacco less frequently than meat-eaters, they were 50 percent more likely to have a heart attack, 50 percent more likely to develop cancer, along with being twice as likely to develop allergies.  

“The higher cancer incidence in vegetarians in our study might be a coincidence, and is possibly related to factors other than the general amount of animal fat intake,” says researchers.

Meaning vegetarians are getting less saturated fats and cholesterol associated with animal fat and instead upping their fruit, nuts and vegetable intake. These subjects were also noted for poorer health practices such as not following vaccination programs and taking preventative health care action.

While researchers note the study had some data collection limitations, such as carbohydrate and caloric intake due to participant sample size, they felt their findings were beneficial and well represented.  

“We admit that the large number of participants made it necessary to keep the questions simple, in order to cover the large sample” concludes researchers. “Overall, we feel that our results are of specific interest and contribute to extant scientific knowledge, notwithstanding some limitations regarding causes and effects.”

Click here for the full study report.

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Wyo  |  April, 02, 2014 at 09:03 PM

Congratulations Laura……you have just put out more positive info than the entire Beef Checkoff and previous Drover's folks……….combined.

Potomac, Motana  |  April, 05, 2014 at 01:23 AM

Its about time. With type II diebities, autism, alzhimers all up 700+% since we were 120 pounds of beef in the 1970s to our present under 50 pounds of beef per capita it is very intutive that we Americans National health status has gone in reverse. Thank you President Jimmy Carter and Carol Foreman--of course besperate situations like Jimmmies $2.5 million loan from Bert Vances bank for his peanut warehouse in Plains, Georgia put Jimmy in dire fincinal straits. The Carters did lose a semen gereration farm due to this debt. And for further updating addressing beef miss representation: 1) the amount of water lost in broducing beef is exactly 0%--ever hear of the water cycle. 2) the NUMBER 1 source of methane gas on this plant earth, the rainforest and from its growth not decompostion. Cattle roughly 1.7%. Enjoy the food of Kings, Jeff Wilson

SD  |  April, 19, 2014 at 11:28 AM

I've not taken time to study the full report, but I do know that it is very difficult to get ONE study accepted by the 'health' industries in the USA. The Beef Checkoff volunteers and staff have had that thown in our/their faces many times since the inception of the checkoff. Not sure how long you have been in the beef business, Graybull, or how much you actually know about that has been accomplished with the checkoff, but much of the information is available on the website. Long ago, near the beginning of the mandatory checkoff, 'everyone' was attempting to take meat out of school lunches. I'm quite certain, having been told by politicians, educators, and ranchers, that had it not been for the work by Beef Checkoff professional staff, backed by the rancher volunteers, that those forces would have succeeded. One comment which stayed with me since a long ago visit to Washington DC, was that "if we can just get better foods like yogurt and soy 'crumbles' in the lunches, those children will come to like them and will choose them over less healthful choices after they are finished with school". I believe it was Carol Tucker Foreman who at the time was in charge of that department of government. She was very determined to make changes, and it seemed to me it didn't really matter what the changes were, it was more for the sake of change than any real benefit to kids. I do hope those who criticize the Beef Checkoff and what it has or has not accomplished actually have checked to see what has been, is being done with it. While checking with your state, and the national websites might show you what is being done, it doesn't give you any clue to the forces working AGAINST eating beef!


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