COMMENTARY | If you wait long enough, it seems, you will find a study that will justify just about any diet. The Medical University of Graz, Austria has concluded that vegetarianism is unhealthier than eating meat.
“–vegetarians are more physically active, drink less alcohol and smoke less tobacco than those who consume meat in their diets. Vegetarians also have a higher socioeconomic status and a lower body mass index. But the vegetarian diet – characterized by a low consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol that includes increased intake of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products – carries elevated risks of cancer, allergies and mental health disorders.
“Vegetarians were twice as likely to have allergies, a 50 percent increase in heart attacks and a 50 percent increase in incidences of cancer.”
Take that, PETA.
The temptation to be snarky is almost overwhelming. Everyone from one’s mom to the emaciated hippy working at the health food store to the United States government have been browbeating people to eat their veggies and fruit. Who knew that people who like barbeque and steaks are healthier than those who subsist on celery and tofuburgers?
At least this is according to one study. There’s the rub. This one goes contrary to just about everything we have been taught recently about a healthy diet.
Almost as important, the Austrian study concluded that vegetarians go to see the doctor more frequently, thus placing a greater strain on that country’s health care system. That suggests that there should be some kind of incentive to get people to eat more meat and to put down the soy shakes once and a while. The Austrians suggest a public awareness campaign. But really a proper nanny state needs to take sterner measures.
Perhaps there should be tax incentives for eating meat. People should be allowed to keep their grocery receipts and then use them to calculate a tax credit. A special sales tax on organic fruits and vegetables should be imposed to pay for the cost of vegetarians getting sick and running up health care costs.
Those of you in Washington who claim to want to fix Obamacare had best get busy.