Thursday, April 02, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, March 06, 2016
Vegans are Crazy: Does Study Stand Up?
By Jack Dini @ 8:17 PM :: 3545 Views :: Health Care, GMOs

Vegetarians Get a Bad Rap

by Jack Dini

A post showing vegetarians and veggies tend to have significantly more mental disorders and health issues than meat-loving people has gone viral, being shared or liked at Facebook over a quarter million times reports Pierre Gosselin.

A study from the University of Graz, Austria, suggests there is an association between a vegetarian diet and an increased risk of certain chronic diseases. (2)

However, as NHS in the UK points out, “Before any meat eating readers start feeling smug, the study provides no proof that vegetarians are in poorer health than meat eaters.” (3)

This was an Austrian survey which simply took a group of 330 people put into a general 'vegetarian' category (some in this category were not exclusively vegetarian). They were matched with groups of people from three 'carnivorous' categories ranked in terms of total meat consumption.

The 'vegetarians' had lower body mass Index (BMI) and alcohol intake, but they also had increased prevalence of three chronic diseases: allergies, cancer and mental illness.

Since the research included a relatively small sample of only 330 vegetarians, the prevalence of the 18 diseases questioned in this group could differ from another group, meaning the associations with the three diseases could purely be due to chance. (3)

There were also inaccuracies in reports that vegetarians were 50% more likely to have a heart attack. There was no significant difference between the vegetarians and three carnivorous groups for any cardiovascular diseases questioned—history of heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke or diabetes.

Ross Pomeroy adds, “The study has a host of inescapable limitations. All of the data, including diet information, is self-reported, thus, we have no idea precisely what vegetarians or the various meat-consuming groups were actually eating. The authors admit, “No statements can be made whether the poorer health in vegetarians in our study is caused by their dietary habit or if they consume this form of diet due to their poorer health status.” Moreover, the study was based in Austria, and the Austrian diet and lifestyle significantly differs from the American diet and lifestyle.” (4)

Even if the study wasn't severely limited, it wouldn't be enough to overturn prior evidence. In a 2009 review, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), the largest organization of food and nutrition professionals in the US, declared that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. More recently, a 2012 review published in the journal Public Health Nutrition, found that vegetarian diets have not shown any adverse effects on health. (4)

Since the sample size was small, its worth discussing observations from John Ioannidis of Stanford. He is well know for his advocacy in examining the biases and reproducibility of published science. In one of his reports, he looked at 45 studies published between 1990 and 2003 and found that subsequent research contradicted the results of seven of those studies (16%), and another seven were found to have weaker results than originally published. In other words, 32% did not withstand the test of time. (5)

In a number of cases the explanation for the discrepancies was sample size. The smaller the group, the shorter the study, the more likely it was that subsequent, deeper, investigation, would contradict or alter the original thesis. Ioannidis provides numerous examples supporting this.

So, instead of all the publicity surrounding the Austrian study, the choice of vegetarianism is supported by studies that are much more thorough and have positive results.



1. Pierre Gosselin, “The hazards of vegetarianism: U of Graz study showing vegetarians are unhealthier, more mentally disturbed, goes viral,” February 5, 2015

2. Nathalie T. Burket et al., “Nutrition and health-the association between eating behavior and various health parameters: a matched sample study,” PLOS, Volume 9, Issue 2, February 2014

3. “Vegetarians have 'poorer quality of life' study claims,”, April 4, 2014

4. Ross Pomeroy, “Large study finds vegetarians have poorer health, lower quality of life than meat eaters,”, April 4, 2014

5. John P. A. Ioannidis, “Contradicted and initially stronger effects in highly cited clinical research,” JAMA, 294 (2), 218 (July 13, 2005)


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii