12 January - 20 June 2016

Going vegan is an ethical and healthy choice

25 March 2015

The proportion of people choosing to follow a vegan diet has increased in recent years.  The choice is made for different reasons, primarily for ethical and health reasons.  In a study conducted by Cynthia Radnitz et al, participants were solicited through events targeting vegans or through social media.  To assess the reason for following a vegan diet, a survey questionnaire asked participants to rank order their motivations for choosing their diet pattern, selecting their primary reason from several options including religious beliefs, health benefits, family influences, ethical concerns/animal rights, amongst others.  Health benefits and ethical concerns were by far the most often cited reasons for choosing a vegan diet.  

Those choosing a vegan diet for moral reasons reported greater disgust with meat and a more intense emotional reaction to meat consumption compared with those who became vegans for health reasons.  It was noted that those who chose a vegan diet for ethical reasons reported being on a vegan diet longer than those who became vegan for health reasons.  Other studies have shown that vegans tend to have a lower BMI (body mass index), lower cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

The substantial increase observed during the past few years in the number of individuals following a vegan diet may indicate that for a portion of the population we are approaching a historic transition point to veganism driven by a greater awareness of animal abuse, the potential health benefits that may occur, and a substantial increase in the availability of meat and dairy substitutes.  At the present time, there is little research into specific foods consumed on this diet, therefore more studies are needed to highlight any differences that may affect health and nutrition outcomes.

share this article
RSSL endeavours to check the veracity of news stories cited in this free e-mail bulletin by referring to the primary source, but cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies in the articles so published. RSSL provides links to other World Wide Web sites as a convenience to users, but cannot be held responsible for the content or availability of these sites. This document may be copied and distributed provided the source is cited as RSSL's Food e-News and the information so distributed is not used for profit.

Previous editions

Load more editions

Make an Enquiry