Vegetarians are less healthy and have a poorer quality of life than meat-eaters, a new study from Austria has concluded.
The research from the Medical University of Graz found that vegetarians visit their doctors more often and are more prone to allergies; they have a 50% increased risk of both heart attacks and cancer; and more likely to develop depression and anxiety disorders.
According to a report in the UK’s Daily Mail, the research indicated that vegetarian diets are associated with poorer health and quality of life.
The research also revealed that people of high socioeconomic status are more likely to be vegetarian.
The research contradicts previous studies that have suggested red meat is linked to a range of health problems, including bowel cancer.
As a result, the researchers say more studies are needed to confirm their findings.
The researchers say: ‘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.
‘Therefore, a continued strong public health programme for Austria is required in order to reduce the health risk due to nutritional factors.’