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Brad Mitchell, MHA
1. To understand the physical/mental/spiritual health and societal
benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle.
2. To provide tips you can use to reduce/eliminate the consumption
of meat.
3. To promote better health, well-being and longevity by adopting
healthier eating habits.
What is Vegetarianism?
“Vegetarianism is the practice of following a diet based on
plant-based foods including fruits, vegetables, cereal grains,
nuts, and seeds, with or without dairy products and eggs”
Lacto-ovo vegetarian
Based on grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes,
seeds, nuts, dairy products, and eggs
No meat, fish or fowl
Lacto vegetarian
May eat dairy
No eggs, meat, fish, or fowl
Ovo vegetarian
May eat eggs
No dairy, meat, fish, or fowl
No eggs, dairy, meat, fish, or fowl
Vegetarian Population Trends
• According to surveys conducted in 2006, 2.3% of Americans
(4.9 million people) consistently ate vegetarian diets
• About 1.4% vegan
• More likely to live on the east or west coasts, live in large
cities, and be female
• Higher academic qualifications
• Higher IQ at age 10 correlated with higher vegetarian status
at age 30
Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2009;109:1266-1282 British Cohort Study, BMJ 2007
Why do people choose vegetarianism?
Health considerations
Philosophical reasons
Concern for animals
Concern for the environment
World hunger issues
Religious reasons
Food safety
Economic reasons
Famous Vegetarians/Vegans
Carl Lewis
Russell Simons
Rosa Parks
Jerry Seinfeld
Andre 3000
Dr. Dre
Dustin Hoffman
Albert Einstein
Coretta Scott King
Angela Bassett
Brad Pitt
Cicely Tyson
Dizzy Gillespie
Dick Gregory
Paul McCartney
Thomas Edison
India Arie
Jackie Chan
Samuel L. Jackson
Robert Redford
Vanessa Williams
Erykah Badu
Forest Whitaker
Edwin Moses
Keenan Ivory Wayans
Shania Twain
The China Study
A survey of death rates in 880 million citizens to study the
relationship between various mortality rates and several dietary,
lifestyle and environmental characteristics in 65 mostly rural counties
in China conducted jointly by Cornell University, Oxford University,
and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine over the course of
20 years.
This project produced more than 8,000 statistically significant
associations between various dietary factors and disease.
The findings?
People who ate the most animal-based
foods got the most chronic disease …
People who ate the most plant-based
foods were the healthiest and tended to
avoid chronic disease.
The Benefits of Vegetarianism…
Better nutrition
Disease prevention
Weight loss/lower BMI
Reports of more energy
Healthier skin
Longer life (3 to 6 years)
PMS symptoms
No concerns about E. coli, mad cow disease,
salmonella, hormone consumption, antibiotics, etc.
Challenges of Vegetarianism
• Greater need to eat multiple times during the day
• Navigating social events
• Finding food “on the fly”
• Home cooking
On Going Vegetarian…
• Get your mind right; embrace change
• Learn as much as you can about the vegetarian lifestyle
• Proceed slowly
• Experiment with different foods and recipes
• Reward yourself
Other Considerations…
• Exercise !!!
• Drink plenty of water
• Reduce/manage stress
• Get plenty of sleep
• Take supplements
• Laugh more; enjoy life
Implications for Health Professionals
• become the example
• information dissemination
• tackle head on -- diabetes, obesity, hypertension,
heart disease, and cancer
• longer life span
• higher quality of life
“You dig your own grave with a fork.”