A meta-analysis made by US researchers from the University of Southern Indiana and the University of Alabama concluded that vegans are more predisposed to developing depression and anxiety than meat-eaters.
The debate is old and has been impossible to put to rest. Researches made so far say contradictory things about the effects, meat-abstinence might have on the psychological health.
For this meta-analysis, researchers reevaluated 18 former studies with different outcomes. 11 of them concluded that people who were vegans or vegetarians were psychologically affected by their diet. Four of the studies didn’t reach any conclusion in this matter, and three of them said the opposite, that meat-abstinence enhances the psychological wellbeing.
Vegans Show High Risks Of Developing Depression And Anxiety
The authors observed that the studies saying that vegetarianism either helps or doesn’t have a noticeable effect on the psychological wellbeing weren’t as rigorous as those saying hat vegetarianism enhances the people’s depression, anxiety, and self-harming. What’s more, people already suffering from these conditions are more likely to choose to become a vegan “as a form of safety or self-protective behavior.”
The authors point to the fact that their study observed the causality effect of vegetarianism on these psychological outcomes: depression, anxiety, and self-harm. This isn’t conclusive for the “overall psychological health benefits”, but it is reasonable to investigate furthermore in this direction.
Being a vegetarian is a modern lifestyle. It is a behavior that derived from religious fasting. The 8,584 participants involved in this analysis that were meat-abstainers have chosen this diet for health reasons. The total number was 160,257 participants Europe, Asia, and the US, 149,559 of them being meat-consumers.
Although this isn’t something vegetarians and vegans want to hear, “in general if you want to avoid the increased risk of depression, anxiety, and self-harm behavior then do eat meat.” It is the recommendation of Aseem Malhotra, an NHS Consultant Cardiologist, that responded in agreement with the new study.