Friday, July 18, 2008

Science to the rescue

I haven't been blogging very much recently, and if you're curious, my list of excuses is about three posts down on my cycling blog (you're looking for the post titled Mariposa Folk Festival).

To get back into the groove, I thought I'd check to see if any new research on vegetarianism or meat-rich diets has been appearing in the article databases, and I found a few things to help you prove to your parents and friends that a veggie diet is really the way to go.

In Australia, they studied 215 kids aged 14 and 15, and found that "Adolescents consuming predominantly vegetarian foods showed significantly better scores on markers of cardiovascular health, including, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, Cholesterol/High density lipoprotein ratio and low density lipoprotein... Surprisingly, exercise on its own was not statistically associated with any of the risk factors tested suggesting that diet may be the most significant factor in promoting health in this age group."
The relative impact of a vegetable-rich diet on key markers of health in a cohort of Australian adolescents

Picture One here depicts the effect on scientists of doing research on drug laced North American beef without proper safety clothing & gear.

There seems to be no doubt anymore that meat causes diabetes. A study following nearly 8500 people over a 17 year period found a 29 to 38% greater risk of diabetes when eating various types of meats, compared to a vegetarian diet. Over the long-term span of the study however it's even worse: "Long-term adherence (over a 17-year interval) to a diet that included at least weekly meat intake was associated with a 74% increase in odds of diabetes relative to long-term adherence to a vegetarian diet (zero meat intake)."
Conclusions: Our findings raise the possibility that meat intake, particularly processed meats, is a dietary risk factor for diabetes.
Meats, processed meats, obesity, weight gain and occurrence of diabetes among adults: Findings from Adventist Health Studies

This picture is a depiction of proper meat handling precautions for North American scientists.

And, going back to the tie between cancer and meat, a Canadian study of nearly 20 000 participants found that "Total meat and processed meat were directly related to the risk of stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas, lung, breast (mainly postmenopausal), prostate, testis, kidney, bladder, and leukemia. Red meat was significantly associated with colon, lung (mainly in men), and bladder cancer... these findings add further evidence that meat, specifically red and processed meat, plays an unfavorable role in the risk of several cancers.
Meat and fish consumption and cancer in Canada

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