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Psychology and Veganism

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Section VIII                Main Page

Psychology and Veganism

Vegan diets correlated with an increase in mental health problems.

"Entirely vegan diets are unknown among traditional human cultures.  Since vegan diets in nature provide no vitamin B12 and very little in the way of usable long chain omega3 fatty acids, it is not surprising that humans have continued to eat animals and animal-derived products.
So this new study has some things to recommend it. For one thing, the mental health diagnoses were determined not by answers to typical questionnaires, but by a full clinical interview using psychologists or physicians, lasting an average of 65 minutes each. (Pretty impressive, considering there were over 4,000 participants in the population-based study). In addition, the researchers matched omnivores to vegetarians based on age, education, sex, and whether they were urban or rural and crunched those numbers as well, so we got a good sample that took out some of the major confounders that dogged the previous studies.
And when the researchers went down the line of depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders (things like body dysmorphic disorder, health anxiety and hypochondriasis), and eating disorders, the mostly vegetarian were more likely to be afflicted, and the strict vegetarian even more likely
Compared to the general population, the vegetarians were more likely to have mental disorders, and compared to the sex and education and population and age matched controls, the risk of mental disorders in vegetarians really shot up, with odds ratios hovering around 2 fold increased risk, some as high as 3 fold.
When the data was taken apart from another direction, it was found that participants in the study with depressive, anxiety, somatoform, and anxiety disorders consumed less meat than people without a mental disorder." (Psychology Today)

The most extensive and thorough study, with interviews conducted by either psychologists or physicians, with an average interview time of 65 minutes, involving over 4,000 participants, concludes: Vegan diets are correlated with an increase in mental health problems.

Further more, study shows that the more vegatarian one becomes (think the more alcoholic one becomes) the more likely you are to be victims of body dysmorphia, anxiety disorders and hypochondria.

Veganism is a slippery slope, just like alcoholism.  The more people get are drawn into it, the more mental health issues they exhibit.

Here is the conclusion from the study in question, involving over 4,000 people, each with interviews by psychologists or physicians, lasting on average 65 minutes,

"Conclusion: In Western cultures vegetarian diet is associated with an elevated risk of mental disorders." NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information).

The NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) is a government funded branch of the National Institute of Health (NIH), which means, as it is not independent research, which can be funded by an organization with a vested interest, it is far more likely to be impartial, and correct.

Further Studies:

Conclusion: Vegetarian/Vegan men are more depressed than non-vegans (Source: PMC 3466124)
Conclusion: Young and adolescent vegetarians at higher risk of eating disorders (Source: PMC 19328260)

Studies which disagree:

There are two studies which disagree that vegetarianism/veganism is correlated with increased mental health issues.  One is an online study, which is fraught with difficulties.  It has a small sample size, and it is a short, self administered internet questionnaire.  There's no way to validate the claims of the online questionnaire takers.

Another one also involves self-reporting, among 7th Day Adventists.  Again, inaccurate as the study reflects self reporting, and someone is not going to say their belief system makes them unhappy.  Low amount of people in the study, 138. Few questions.  Further constraints are that there are no interviews by professionals, and self reporting is subject to peer influence and confirmation bias.

Overall, the studies show that vegetarianism/veganism, is correlated with an increase rate of depression, anxiety, body dysmorphia, and hypochondria.  The more 'vegan' someone becomes, the more the instances and affects of the mentioned mental ill health increases.

study involving over 4,000 people
Vegetarian/vegan men are more depressed than non vegans
young and adolescent vegetarians at higher risk of eating disorders
online survey
self reporting among 7th Day Adventists

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" 1 Corinthians 2:14


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7th April 2018


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