Published: April 7, 2020 3:50:20 pm
At a time when many people around the world are considering a more ecologically-conscious way of living, what with turning to plant-based foods and living in tandem with nature, vegetarianism is naturally on the rise. For non-vegetarians, there is a lot of interest in the vegetarian way of life. But more than anything else, it is the health factor which is acting as the biggest motivation for people, a study has found.
The study co-author Christopher J Hopwood, a professor at the University of California, in the US was quoted as saying that the most common reason for people to consider turning vegetarian has to do with health, and not so much to do with the environment or the rights of animals.
According to the researchers who worked on the study, eating is a basic behaviour, notwithstanding individual differences and/or social dynamics. For the study published in the journal PLOS ONE, some 8,000 people of different ages and ethnicity in the US and Holland were surveyed, so as to understand why some non-vegetarians decide to turn vegetarian.
The researchers developed, what is called the Vegetarian Eating Motives Inventory (VMI), to measure the three main motives — environment, animal rights and health. It was found that the one clear winner was health, when it came to people’s motivation, ahead of the other two motivations. But, it was also found that the people who are most committed to vegetarianism were more motivated by environmental factors or animal rights.
The study also stated that the people who reason environment or animal rights for their transition are more curious, interested in the arts and open to experiences.
According to a 2019 study published in Journal of the American Heart Association, middle-aged adults who consume more of plant-based foods and less of animal products are likely to have a healthier heart, with a lower risk of heart diseases. And according to the American Heart Association, eating less meat can also reduce the risk of a stroke, high cholesterol and blood pressure problems, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Additionally, experts say that a plant-based diet also offers better weight management, given that water content and fibre in fruits and vegetables can make a person feel fuller and increase energy.
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