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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
what the title says. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
with all these 'those veg*ns are sooooo unhealthy!' threads popping up all over the place i'd love to hear all about the health benefits of being veg*n, especially how it compares to being omni (health stats for risk for heart problems, illness, etc etc for veg*n and omnis) with any references you have. it can serve to dispel so many wild misconceptions and i'm always up for more education on any subject. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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The thing is, I don't think there have been any studies done comparing veg*n diets to health food omni diets. I have no faith in the studies that compare veg*n diets to SAD diets.
 

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oh fun! there are WAY too many sources to list honestly but here's just a few to start... it's nice to read this again and get reminders of the health benefits <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
A study of Caucasian Seventh-day Adventists found hypertension in 22 percent of omnivores, but only 7 percent of vegetarians. Among African Americans, the prevalence was 44 percent of omnivores and 18 percent of vegetarians.<br><br>
Cancer rates for vegetarians are 25 to 50 percent below population averages, even after controlling for smoking, body mass index, and socioeconomic status.<br><br>
In one study, pediatric developmental tests in vegetarian children indicated mental age advanced over a year beyond chronological age, and mean IQ was well above average (with an average of 116 points), providing reassurance that brain development is normal.<br><br>
Cow’s milk is the number one cause of food allergies in infants and children, according to the American Gastroenterological Association.<br><br>
The American Dietetic Association reports that vegetarian/vegan diets are associated with reduced risks for all cardiovascular diseases. They further state...<br>
"Mortality from coronary artery disease is lower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians"<br>
"vegetarians have lower rates of mortality from colon cancer ..." (the most threatening cancer among Americans)<br>
"Lung cancer rates are lower in vegetarians..."<br>
"... vegetarians are also at decreased risk for breast cancer."<br><br>
According to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, bowel cancer deaths and heart disease deaths in studied countries was directly proportional to those countries' per capita meat consumption.<br><br>
According to the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, average bone loss by the age of 65 for women in the U.S. was 35% for meat-eaters, and only 18% for vegetarians. Osteoperosis is virtually unknown in countries where the population is lactose-intolerant (certain regions of China, for example).<br><br>
Dr. T. Colin Campbell, a Cornell University nutritional biochemist, his study observing the dietary habits of 6,500 Chinese participants over a seven year period brought him to these conclusions: "We're basically a vegetarian species and should be eating a wide variety of plant foods and minimizing our intake of animal foods." He further stated, "In the next ten years, one of the things you're bound to hear is that animal protein...is one of the most toxic nutrients of all that can be considered." His studies found a direct link between the consumption of animal products and life threatening illnesses such as heart disease and cancers of the breast and colon. The conclusions stated: "Not only do animal products pose health risks for human consumers, they offer us nothing nutritive that cannot be more readily obtained from plant sources. Protein, iron, calcium and all vitamin requirements are easily met through eating only grains, beans, vegetables, nuts and fruits, with the possible exception of Vitamin B-12, which is available in fortified foods and supplements."
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
HK- my husband is a big pusher of the China Study. i have yet to read the entire thing.<br><br>
my question is about these studies is (wait, let me start with a disclaimer. i really believe a veg*n diet is superior to an omni. i am not trying to debate that fact at all. but i am just one of those gals that questions everything. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">) are they taking into account the ratio of veg*n in comparrison to omnis? there are a lot more omnis then veg*n so of course more will have these health issues (again, i do believe it's related to their diet but i have to ask) so i just want to make sure they are taking all that into account with these studies.<br><br>
i want to touch on this as well- i keep hearing arguments that state veg*n children are shorter skinner etc etc. i'm not undertsnading the big issue with this. can someone please explain? when studies have shown that extreme issues are addressed through becoming veg*n (heart health etc) then what does a few inches matter when child/adult is otherwise healthier than your average joe? this brings me to think that maybe it's the veg*n children/adults who are the healthier height/weight and the omni children/adults are being affected by the growth hormones both naturally occuring and artificial in animal products. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> i can think of my breast size. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> just hear me out! my mom (who is faaar from healthy) very much believes that you need meat for every meal and whole vit D milk (we'd go through 4 gallons before the month was out) etc. i am not a big person, maybe considered average. i do have a small frame. but i have DDD/E breast that hurt me. i started developing at 9. was a C by my 11th birthday. i have since been told that they are finding that milk causes this in girls. one of my mom's big arguments is veg*n are so much smaller than your average person (who, in the US is generally overweight) and she points out their breasts. i can't help but think that my breasts aren't natural but brought on by my diet as a child. am i just insane? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: but that's my thought with veg*n children. i have known children raise with proper veg*n diets. yes, they are smaller but they can also run circles around omni children and were rarely sick.<br>
i hope i'm making some sense. i've had to stop several times while typing this out to attend to the kiddos.
 

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Love The China Study - it's fantastic!!<br><br>
To answer your question, yes reputable studies will compare matching numbers of people to compare their results. They use a sample study (the size of which will vary obviously) and use the sample results to provide insight on what the results would be for the overall population. It's standard research practice (I've been in research for 18 years so I have a pretty good handle on how these things generally work).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks so much, HK. i just had a 'duh' moment. such common sense! too bad i am lacking. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> thanks for clearing that up for me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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I think tboroson's point is well made in some of HelloKitty's examples - they are simple comparing veg*nism to omnivorism. But the comparison that includes a healthy omnivorous diet is not specified, and that would be very interesting.
 

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Eh, I don't know, from all I've read on the issue I think "healthy ominvorous diet" might just be an oxymoron. Anyone have any more links?
 

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It's also worth pointing out that we have no idea how "healthy" a diet the veg*ns are following in these studies either, yet there are still clear cut benefits to be seen.
 

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This is interesting and something I have thought alot about. I think an omnivorous diet *can* be healthy, but how many people do it the way *I* think it should be done? Not many! I would love to see a vegan diet that I thought was healthful up against an omni that I felt was appropriate....because everyone should be clamoring to do things the way *I* see them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Seriously though. Two groups same diet the only difference being occasional consumption of animal foods that were unprocessed. No soy, very few grains (if any) and no refined anything. All fresh food. Of course you'd need to study for several generations to combat the whole "don't know how it affects your kids" thinking. You'd also need to control for medications, vaccines....all those things which can totally make a difference.<br><br>
Man, I just made myself dizzy.<br><br>
HK- what if someone was eating an omnivorous diet where they ate nothing but fresh produce and less than a half pound of meat/eggs/fish per week (combined) and all of that came from their own farm where the animals were truly free ranging and grass fed OR wild caught- almost a paleo model. Don't you think that *could* be considered healthy?<br><br>
I don't have an answer. I feel conflicted because what is ethically the right choice for me isn't necessarily what I think is the healthiest.
 

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Oh-and to the breast thing. I grew up in an omni house. I wasn't allowed to leave the table without finishing my nasty milk every night because it was "good for me" My breasts weren't huge pre-kiddos, however they are now (34E, and that's after losing a bunch of weight-they were bigger) Clearly there was a set-up for a hormonal imbalance which I KNOW relates to the way I ate growing up. I went veg early but was still required to drink my milk. When I cut out all animal products I was allowed to stop. Then I went to college and did my own thing anyway. I was a junk food vegan of the highest degree though! I wouldn't want any study based on someone like me when I was in my late teens/early twenties!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>firefaery</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8211546"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">HK- what if someone was eating an omnivorous diet where they ate nothing but fresh produce and less than a half pound of meat/eggs/fish per week (combined) and all of that came from their own farm where the animals were truly free ranging and grass fed OR wild caught- almost a paleo model. Don't you think that *could* be considered healthy?</div>
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I really don't know, why would that be healthy? Just because they are free ranging and grass fed or wild caught? It's still meat... I've yet to see any reasonable studies that show there is a benefit to eating any meat, and lots of studies showing the benefit of not eating meat... so with the information I have now I don't think eating animal products is healthy.<br><br>
Now maybe some people do need animal products, I don't know, I don't think that *I* do though and really I'm the only one that genuinely cares what I think anyways <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Well, I guess I'm just basing my question on your statement that healthy omnivorism is an oxymoron. I have no answers, but we survived as a species eating meat occasionally. Clearly that diet was VERY different from what people are eating today, but an omni diet was at one point anyway beneficial to us.
 

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Well surviving and being healthy aren't neccesarily the the same thing. I could probably survive for a long time on McDonald's, Krispy Kreme Donuts and chocolate milk but that doesn't mean I'd be very healthy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
ETA I don't really have any answers either this is JMO. Each should do what they feel is right for their ethics and their health. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
where i don't feel the ammount or type of meat that we (general 'we') eat today is even close to healthy i don't feel that a little meat every once in a blue moon especially if it's poultry or fish is going to screw you over health wise.
 

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I don't either, but I don't really see the point of it either! I feel weird arguing for vegetarianism in the veg forum... am I in the wrong place?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> nope! and i'm not arguing it. i agree about seeing the point of it. not saying we should all have some fried chicken once a year at all.
 

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*phew* you scared me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Do you think I should move this thread to the general N & GE forum? The thread title is a fair question, but I can see us running into "issues" if people present opinions and information supportive of an omni diet here on the veg forum - doesn't really provide a neutral space to host the discussion, KWIM?<br><br>
I think I just answered my own question. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I will move it so that we can continue the discussion in a more neutral place.
 

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Thanks! After I read all those anti-vegan posts last night, I was feeling so scared, like my children were these pasty, thin, unhealthy waifs because of some belief I was forcing on them. Then I looked at their chubby little faces lying in bed together, and saw how healthy they were, and started to get a bit angry....like I wouldn't know if I were starving my own children!?! Grrrr....I really feel like my parenting is being undermined by some of these comments sometimes.<br><br>
I know I've read all the health benefits of being vegan before, but we're really vegan for ethical reasons, so they weren't at the top of my mind. I'd like to be on top of all the vegan nutritional stuff, but if my kids are healthy with what we're doing, and it's making me freak out so much to hear all this anti-vegan fear stuff, I feel like just leaving well enough alone, and getting some sleep instead of reading these message boards!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Anyway, thanks for all the China study summary info. I keep meaning to read it, but it hasn't happened yet.
 
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