evidence-based blog of Filippo Dibari

Vegetarianism and cardiometabolic disease risk factors: Differences between South Asian and US adults

In Over-nutrition on August 11, 2018 at 7:31 am

Jaacks LM1, Kapoor D2, Singh K2, Narayan KM3, Ali MK3, Kadir MM4, Mohan V5, Tandon N6, Prabhakaran D2.

Nutrition. 2016 Sep;32(9):975-84. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2016.02.011. Epub 2016 Mar 4.

(downlowad)

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Cardiometabolic diseases are increasing disproportionately in South Asia compared with other regions of the world despite high levels of vegetarianism. This unexpected discordance may be explained by differences in the healthfulness of vegetarianand non-vegetarian diets in South Asia compared with the United States. The aim of this study was to compare the food group intake of vegetarians with non-vegetarians in South Asia and the United States and to evaluate associations between vegetarianism and cardiometabolic disease risk factors (overweight/obesity, central obesity, diabetes, hypertension, high triacylglycerols, high low-density lipoprotein, low high-density lipoprotein, and high Framingham Heart Score).

METHODS:

Using cross-sectional data from adults (age 20-69 y) in South Asia (Centre for Cardiometabolic Risk Reduction in South-Asia [CARRS] 2010-2011; N = 15 665) and the United States (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2006; N = 2159), adherence to a vegetarian diet was assessed using food propensity questionnaires. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios and predicted margins (e.g., adjusted prevalence of the outcomes).

RESULTS:

One-third (33%; n = 4968) of adults in the South Asian sample were vegetarian compared with only 2.4% (n = 59) in the US sample. Among South Asians, vegetarians more frequently ate dairy, legumes, vegetables, fruit, desserts, and fried foods than non-vegitarians (all P < 0.05). Among Americans, vegetarians more frequently ate legumes, fruit, and whole grains, and less frequently ate refined cereals, desserts, fried foods, fruit juice, and soft drinks than non-vegetarians (all P < 0.05). After adjustment for confounders (age, sex, education, tobacco, alcohol, and also city in CARRS), South Asian vegetarians were slightly less frequently overweight/obese compared with non-vegetarians: 49% (95% confidence interval [CI], 45%-53%) versus 53% (95% CI, 51%-56%), respectively; whereas US vegetarians were considerably less frequently overweight/obese compared with non-vegetarians: 48% (95% CI, 32%-63%) versus 68% (95% CI, 65%-70%), respectively. Furthermore, US vegetarians were less likely to exhibit central obesity than non-vegetarians: 62% (95% CI, 43%-78%) versus 78% (95% CI, 76%-80%), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is greater divergence between vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets in the United States than in South Asia, and US vegetarians have more consistently healthier food group intakes than South Asian vegetarians. Vegetarians in both populations have a lower probability of overweight/obesity compared with non-vegetarians. The strength of this association may be stronger for US vegetarian diets, which were also protective against central obesity.

Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets

In Over-nutrition, Under-nutrition on August 11, 2018 at 7:12 am

Craig WJ1, Mangels AR; American Dietetic Association.

(download pdf)

Abstract

It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes. A vegetarian diet is defined as one that does not include meat (including fowl) or seafood, or products containing those foods.

This article reviews the current data related to key nutrients for vegetarians including protein, n-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, and vitamins D and B-12. A vegetarian diet can meet current recommendations for all of these nutrients. In some cases, supplements or fortified foods can provide useful amounts of important nutrients. An evidence- based review showed that vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate in pregnancy and result in positive maternal and infant health outcomes.

The results of an evidence-based review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians also appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians.

Furthermore, vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Features of a vegetarian diet that may reduce risk of chronic disease include lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals.

The variability of dietary practices among vegetarians makes individual assessment of dietary adequacy essential. In addition to assessing dietary adequacy, food and nutrition professionals can also play key roles in educating vegetarians about sources of specific nutrients, food purchase and preparation, and dietary modifications to meet their needs.

Global Event: ACCELERATING THE END OF HUNGER AND MALNUTRITION

In Over-nutrition, Under-nutrition on August 10, 2018 at 5:25 am

source: conference web page

An IFPRI-FAO global event
November 28-30, 2018
Bangkok, Thailand
Improving food security and nutrition is critical to meeting the Sustainable  Development Goals (SDGs), but the world is not on track to end hunger and malnutrition by 2030.
How can we accelerate progress in transforming our agri-food systems to meet the needs of the hungry and malnourished?
To answer this question, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are organizing a global event on Accelerating the End of Hunger and Malnutrition on November 28-30, 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand
The event will share evidence and lessons learned from around the world on food system transformation for reducing hunger and malnutrition; explore innovations to build further momentum and accelerate progress; and identify opportunities for scaling up successful actions.
For more information, please go to the conference website.
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