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Old 05 December 2015, 02:28 AM
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Icon103 Research Points To Mental Health Risks Associated With Meatless Diet

Many Americans have turned to a vegetarian diet for many different reasons. Maybe you just think it will make you generally more healthy. Perhaps you want to trim a few pounds. Maybe you want to supplement your already healthy lifestyle. However, will you be happier? Some research suggests that the exact opposite is the truth and Women’s Health recently looked into some of the research and cautions people to be well aware of how going meatless can impact your mental health.
http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/201...meatless-diet/
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  #2  
Old 05 December 2015, 02:40 AM
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My craaaazy friend says it's wrong to eat meat. Is he craaazy?

No, just misguided.
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Old 05 December 2015, 03:09 AM
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From the completely non-scientific, book-promoting magazine article in the link:

Quote:
"I hear from vegetarians every day; they have this terrible depression and anxiety, and they don't understand why," says Lierre Keith, author of The Vegetarian Myth.
Maybe because we're sick of other people policing our diets, assuming we're vitamin-deficient, and acting like vegetarianism is some bizarre personal insult to their love of meat.

(I swear, people become more obnoxious towards me when they suspect I'm a vegetarian than when I tell them I'm an atheist.)

Also I think it should go without saying that any article about food studies has an equal number of articles to support it as well as to claim it's complete bunk.
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Old 05 December 2015, 03:41 AM
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But Cervus, he hears from them EVERY DAY. Every day "vegetarians and vegans" (plural! We're talking a minimum of four people per day, or 1460 people per year! He must have heard from all the vegetarians and vegans in the country by now!) tell him about their terrible depression and anxiety, which they're just too stupid to notice came on right when they stopped eating meat! Because being a vegetarian also makes you dumb. Maybe he's just actually hearing from the same four idiots every day, who are so protein-deficient they can't even remember they already regaled him with their tale of woe.
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Old 05 December 2015, 05:39 AM
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Actually, I have two vegetarian daughters and a wife with a diagnosed digestive disease, so we are 90% vegetarians at home.

And by far, the people that gripe to us about our diet are the other vegetarians.

I know this is personal experience, but we don't have people trying to convince my daughters to eat meat. The other way around. We have more people trying to convince us to eschew the few meat based meals we do eat for the "better", "healthier", "more environmentally friendly" meals that they think we should be eating.

I agree that my choice of meals is my concern and mine only. But the hyperbole posted here is far from my experience.
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Old 05 December 2015, 09:31 AM
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What a terrible article! A correlation has been found, but one of the authors of the Australian study cited in the article stated that "vegetarianism can sometimes follow (italics added) the onset of mental disorders," and says:

"So the diet isn't the cause but rather the symptom ... If you think of people that are committed to being a vegetarian it's a fairly significant commitment and it picks up people at the fringe of the obsessive-compulsive spectrum."

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2...-unhappy-study

A German study with similar findings concludes:

Quote:
In Western cultures vegetarian diet is associated with an elevated risk of mental disorders. However, there was no evidence for a causal role of vegetarian diet in the etiology of mental disorders.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3466124/

I hate it when the media reports study results. They almost always screw it up.

Last edited by wanderwoman; 05 December 2015 at 09:48 AM. Reason: struggling with proper use of an ellipse - also the spelling of ellipse :)
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  #7  
Old 05 December 2015, 01:45 PM
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UEL, I get what you are saying. I recently had a discussion about healthy eating and weight control with a woman who had gotten into a very specific program, which included avoiding anything that has 'additives' such as preservatives. There was a lot more to it, but that is as far as we got, as I had something with a little bit of preservative in it. She was telling me that the ingredient made the food unhealthy, and I replied that it has been very thoroughly tested and not found to have any problem. She got very agitated that anyone would disagree with a purist approach. It was not a good time to get into an extensive discussion, so I left it at that, but I still feel that tension she exhibited when I did not accept her belief system.
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Old 05 December 2015, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderwoman View Post
one of the authors of the Australian study cited in the article stated [. . . ] ... If you think of people that are committed to being a vegetarian it's a fairly significant commitment[/url].
Seems to me that that would depend on where you are and who you hang out with.

If one's living in an area where there are very few vegetarians, and/or if one's particular circle of friends and family contains few or no vegetarians, then it's a significant commitment. I don't get the impression that it's a significant commitment for people who grow up in vegetarian families and live in areas where it's a common form of diet.

Almost any way of living is going to seem odd and difficult to people who aren't used to it.

ETA: I don't think everybody does best on the same diet. Some people feel better if they don't eat meat. Some people feel better if they do eat meat.
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Old 05 December 2015, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I don't get the impression that it's a significant commitment for people who grow up in vegetarian families and live in areas where it's a common form of diet.
Then those probably wouldn't be the people he is talking about. Vegetarians are a pretty small percentage of the population in the countries in which the studies took place.
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Old 05 December 2015, 03:29 PM
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Being a vegetarian has never required any significant commitment from me.
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  #11  
Old 05 December 2015, 03:47 PM
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I'm outnumbered.

I think it would require a significant commitment on my part if I were to decide to go that route, and it seems like people I know who are vegetarian have to do more advance planning in order to adhere to that lifestyle. Indiana may be very different from NY, but it is not so different from Ohio, so it may be a misperception on my part. However, sources I have looked at say that less than 2% of people in the U.S. are vegetarian, so it's hard to believe that there aren't a lot of barriers. In Australia it's apparently about 5%. I will defer to those who actually have the experience, though.
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Old 05 December 2015, 03:58 PM
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What kind of barriers are you thinking of?

It's easier now than it was when I started, 23 years ago. But even then it didn't require a significant commitment. I had never liked the taste or texture of meat and never ate much of it, so I had some practice dealing with limited menus and finding meatless options.
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Old 05 December 2015, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
And by far, the people that gripe to us about our diet are the other vegetarians.[...]I agree that my choice of meals is my concern and mine only. But the hyperbole posted here is far from my experience.
What hyperbole are you referring to? I don't see anyone in this thread talking about meat-eaters griping about vegetarians' choices. I see people talking about how this article is bullshit, but that's not the same thing.
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Old 05 December 2015, 04:20 PM
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I've never had anyone gripe about my choices. I have had people made rude comments about my food, usually while I'm eating it.* It's very rude. Since I've experienced that, and have never commented on anyone's eating meat, I find the stereotype of the preach vegetarian extremely annoying.

*And often about things they themselves would happily eat in other circumstances, like the co-worker who said something snide about falafel. I'd see her piling chickpeas on her plate at the office salad bar.
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Old 05 December 2015, 07:32 PM
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I don't understand how a vegetarian diet could require "significant commitment" or "barriers" or advanced planning. However, veganism would. Are you confusing vegans who eat and use no animal products whatsoever, with the general definition of lacto-ovo vegetarians, who simply don't eat meat?
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Old 05 December 2015, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
What hyperbole are you referring to? I don't see anyone in this thread talking about meat-eaters griping about vegetarians' choices. I see people talking about how this article is bullshit, but that's not the same thing.
Here are some snippets from a single post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
But Cervus, he hears from them EVERY DAY. Every day "vegetarians and vegans" (plural! We're talking a minimum of four people per day, or 1460 people per year!
Maybe hyperbole was the wrong word.

Quote:
He must have heard from all the vegetarians and vegans in the country by now!) tell him about their terrible depression and anxiety, which they're just too stupid to notice came on right when they stopped eating meat!
Exaggeration does not quite cover it.

Quote:
Because being a vegetarian also makes you dumb. Maybe he's just actually hearing from the same four idiots every day, who are so protein-deficient they can't even remember they already regaled him with their tale of woe.
I got it. Puerile response.

How do the kids say it nowadays? Mic drop?
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Old 05 December 2015, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderwoman View Post
I'm outnumbered.

I think it would require a significant commitment on my part if I were to decide to go that route, and it seems like people I know who are vegetarian have to do more advance planning in order to adhere to that lifestyle. Indiana may be very different from NY, but it is not so different from Ohio, so it may be a misperception on my part. However, sources I have looked at say that less than 2% of people in the U.S. are vegetarian, so it's hard to believe that there aren't a lot of barriers. In Australia it's apparently about 5%. I will defer to those who actually have the experience, though.
I've had family members become vegetarian to some degree or another over the years and I agree from my POV it seems like they have to put more effort into it than I do. Some restaurants are a no go for instance, or they are stuck eating the side salad as a main meal. On the other hand I know if (not if, when!) I start trying to eat better that actually requires some planning and effort on my part even if I include meat in my meals.

Those stats are interesting. I'd have thought that # would have been a lot higher.
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Old 05 December 2015, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
Here are some snippets from a single post.
None of that has anything to do with what you wrote about vegetarians criticizing your choices. I'm rolling my eyes at the outlandish claims in the article. Ironic that you jump into a thread of snopesters doing what we usually do, debunking and mocking spurious claims, and say that actually it's the vegetarians who always get on other people's cases about their dietary choices. Before you posted, the only criticism of anyone's choices was the OP, criticizing the choice to be vegetarian on highly dubious grounds.
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Old 05 December 2015, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
What kind of barriers are you thinking of?

It's easier now than it was when I started, 23 years ago. But even then it didn't require a significant commitment. I had never liked the taste or texture of meat and never ate much of it, so I had some practice dealing with limited menus and finding meatless options.
My impression that it is difficult to be vegetarian in the circles I run in is mainly due to the complaints I've heard from vegetarians I know about the poor choices available for vegetarians at meetings and when eating on the run. Both of which my job involves a lot of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
I've never had anyone gripe about my choices. I have had people made rude comments about my food, usually while I'm eating it.* It's very rude. Since I've experienced that, and have never commented on anyone's eating meat, I find the stereotype of the preach vegetarian extremely annoying.
I am reminded of when my children were young and I had to tell them that "Yuck!" was not appropriate, and that if they didn't like something the proper thing to say was "No, thank you." Some adults have never learned that lesson, I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I've had family members become vegetarian to some degree or another over the years and I agree from my POV it seems like they have to put more effort into it than I do. Some restaurants are a no go for instance, or they are stuck eating the side salad as a main meal. On the other hand I know if (not if, when!) I start trying to eat better that actually requires some planning and effort on my part even if I include meat in my meals.
That's been my impression also, and it's true that if one is trying to eat well, it does take more effort regardless.

Quote:
Those stats are interesting. I'd have thought that # would have been a lot higher.
Those are from Wikipedia, and there are references, though I haven't looked at them. I think there are other sources with slightly different numbers, but I haven't seen anything much larger.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetarianism_by_country
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Old 05 December 2015, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
I don't understand how a vegetarian diet could require "significant commitment" or "barriers" or advanced planning. However, veganism would. Are you confusing vegans who eat and use no animal products whatsoever, with the general definition of lacto-ovo vegetarians, who simply don't eat meat?
No, I am not confusing the two.

I am not the one who used the term "significant commitment" as that was a quote from the author of the article. I like meat, so it would indeed be a significant commitment on my part if I were to avoid eating it completely. I don't avoid or disparage meatless dishes, but I like to eat meat as well. Obviously that is not the case for Lainie, who does not like meat. So I can see where her vegetarianism would not involve a significant commitment.

As far as barriers, I have been in situations where the meatless choices seemed very unsatisfying, and as I said above, vegetarians I know have complained about it in my presence. For those who don't find that to be the case, I am happy for you.
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