Despite consuming less alcohol, having a lower body mass index, being more physically active and smoking less, vegetarians are in a worse state of physical health than their meat-eating counterparts, a new study has revealed.
The research, conducted by the University of of Graz in Austria, also found that a vegetarian diet carries significant health risks.
“Our results showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with poorer health (higher incidences of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), a higher need for health care, and poorer quality of life,” the study stated.
This conclusion is surprising given that vegetarians were shown to consume significantly less alcohol than carnivores.
However, the study also suggested that vegetarians are more likely to avoid vaccinations and preventative check-ups than meat-eaters.
The new research has faced criticism, with many accusing it of merely being an advertisement for the meat industry, but researchers were quick to dismiss the theory.
“We have already distanced ourselves from this claim as it is an incorrect interpretation of our data,” Study coordinator Nathalie Burkert told The Austrian Times.