I have been reading "how not to die" by gene stone and Michael Gregor. During the book, people were classified as either meat eaters (eat meat more than 4 times a week), or plant based eaters. meat eaters had a much higher risk of obtaining diseases (heart attack, stroke, and so on) compared to vegetarians.

I believe this may be similar to "brushing your teeth makes you live longer". People who brush their teeth generally take better care of themselves anyway. The cause and effect of not eating meat is what I'm interested in.

Of meat eaters, there would be healthy eaters and unhealthy eaters (fresh chicken salads vs KFC). With vegetarians, there are a lot less people eating unhealthy foods since they are more health conscious (once again, these are generalisations, but the scientific data is based on percentages as well).

I am wondering if anyone knows of any books or scientific reports where they keep clean meat eating as a control against vegetarianism. I believe this would be more accurate in determining the health benefits of vegetarianism.

  • I would like to try and convince you to care less about the habits of others. We can discuss health implications of meat-eating, but ultimately we are as powerless to change others as they are to change us. Part of a just society is being able to follow your own conscience, but we have to allow for other people to follow theirs.
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 10:18
  • I agree with you. My question was more about scientific literature rather than the habits of others. My end goal was to find what the best possible diet was (mainly out of curiosity) and find a good diet for myself Commented May 19, 2020 at 11:12

2 Answers 2


Vegetarian diets are linked to a lot of good things such as lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and some cancers. However, there is no solid proof that those benefits come from the lack of meat versus an increased intake of fruits and vegetables. We do know that certain diet patterns that include meat have similar effects, mainly the Mediterranean diet. These diet patterns emphasize lean meat, such as fish and poultry, as well as a lot of fruits and vegetables.

Honestly, it's probably a bit of both.

You also need to consider that a vegetarian diet can be full of processed, junky foods just like the Standard American Diet (SAD). Don't be a "carbotarian".

There are some nutrients that vegetarians are MORE prone to be deficient in, so you still should be aiming for healthy foods.

I have written extensively on this topic on my site - both about the health benefits of a vegetarian diet and how it can be potentially unhealthy.


Over-eating on a veg diet can also lead to obesity, there certainly are veg foods that very much fall into the category of trap foods.

I think that the problems of obesity has a great deal to do with a lack of compulsion control in our western societies. The fact that we rarely have to work to produce the food we eat. The fact that people can be addicted to eating, but in the popular point-of-view, it is not seen as it.

You can basically have a dependency on food that is in a psychologist perspective the same as a heroin addiction, but the big difference is it does not effect your life in a immediate way, so people don't seem see it for what it is.

If a person does drugs, you can see it in his body. Society can discuss drug-usage and everyone admits it is a problem, but when you talk critical about a specific persons eating habits, you run the risk of 'fat-shaming'

The fact that in our popular conscience you will not associate a person with two buckets of KFC chicken as an addict, although that could very easily be what he is. Is a big problem.

If the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, how is society going to find solution to food-problems, when the at a popular level, over-eating is not seen as enough of a problem (at least not on the level of drug-usage).

I ask myself, if a person is morbidly obese, to the level of being weighing over 200kg. How did it get to that level? How can people look at a person like that and not admit when he weighed 130kg that he had a problem and then do some sort of intervention? How did it get to that level? The only explanation I can find that makes sense is that people at a ground-level don't see any of it as a problem.

I'm not talking about attitudes on a national level. Policy makers in the US don't have a problem admitting obesity is a problem, the people standing in the queue at KFC, they seem less inclined to admit that problem.

That attitude or mind-set is the root for me of the problem.

  • I think you've made the common mistake of making "heath = weight". Obesity level is only part of the picture. Don't forget nutritional deficits, mental health, or organ & bone health (to name but a few things!) :) Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 15:38

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