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Vegetarian and Vegan Diets: Weighing the Claims

Part of the Nutrition and Health book series (NH)

Abstract

Vegetarian diets are becoming increasingly popular in developed countries. While no reliable prevalence data for vegetarian populations exist, results of polls and surveys have reported population prevalence of between 1 and 10% in the European Union, the United States, and Canada (http://www.evana.org/index.php?id=70650). A recent study in the United States reported that 2.8% of respondents never ate meat, poultry, fish, or other seafood, although 4–10% would classify themselves as vegetarian (www.vrg.org/journal/vj2006issue4/vj2006issue4poll.htm). Vegetarian diets are often heterogeneous in nature, involving a wide range of dietary practices. These are summarized in Table 20.1. Even within classifications of dietary practices, there can be a high level of variability depending on the individual dietary restriction(s). Vegetarian or vegan diets may be practiced for a variety of reasons, including health, cultural, philosophical, religious, and ecological beliefs, or simply because of taste preferences. This chapter will discuss vegetarian and vegan diets and their impact on human health.

Keywords

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Nutrient status

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Suggested Further Reading

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  • McEvoy CT, Temple N, Woodside JV. Vegetarian diets, low-meat diets and health: a review. Public Health Nutr 2012;15:2287–2294.

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  • The Vegetarian Society provides information on vegetarianism, vegetarian books and recipes, and links to related sites. www.vegsoc.org

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Correspondence to Jayne V. Woodside Ph.D. .

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McGirr, C., McEvoy, C.T., Woodside, J.V. (2017). Vegetarian and Vegan Diets: Weighing the Claims. In: Temple, N., Wilson, T., Bray, G. (eds) Nutrition Guide for Physicians and Related Healthcare Professionals. Nutrition and Health. Humana Press, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49929-1_20

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49929-1_20

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