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Vegetarian diet

Study shows 1 in 10 Swedes is vegetarian or vegan

Friday, March 28, 2014 by: Luke Jones
Tags: vegetarian diet, veganism, Sweden

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(NaturalNews) A recent study commissioned by Animal Rights Sweden suggests that the number of people adopting vegetarian and vegan diets in Sweden is growing.

The study has shown a 4 percent increase in the number of people adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet.

A survey was carried out in February and March by Demoskop and involved telephone interviews with 1,000 Swedish people aged 15 and over. Four percent of respondents said they were vegans, while 6 percent said they were vegetarian. The highest prevalence was seen amongst the younger populations. Seventeen percent of 15- to 34-year-olds described themselves as vegetarian or vegan.

The major cities of Skane and Stockholm had the highest percentage of vegetarian and vegan residents, perhaps due to the wider range of vegetarian and vegan products in supermarkets and restaurants.

The study also showed that there has been widespread increased interest in vegetarian foods even among those who consume meat. Thirty percent of the non-vegetarian respondents stated that their interest in purchasing vegetarian products had increased over the past year compared to 26 percent in 2009. The results also suggest that even more non-vegetarians would be interested in vegetarian products if access was greater in other areas of the country.

There are many different reasons why one might adopt a plant-based diet. Twenty-one percent of those in the study who identified themselves as vegetarian or vegan said their choice was mainly due to their concern for animal welfare, while 28 percent claimed that this was only a part of their decision. This suggests that the remaining 51 percent of people made their dietary choices for health or religious reasons, or possibly sustainability concerns.

The rise in vegetarianism and veganism is without doubt a move in the right direction when we consider both the ethical and sustainability issues associated with the production of animal products. It certainly reduces our carbon footprint, and the amount of animal suffering.

Perhaps the only concern is the health implications. A whole-food, plant-based diet with low amounts of processed foods and little to no animal protein has been shown to be health promoting, but just being vegan or vegetarian does not necessarily mean that you are consuming mainly whole foods. You can still be a "junk food" vegetarian/vegan.

So, although the global benefits of the vegan/vegetarian movement are great, from a health standpoint it's important that we keep in mind that we need to consume a nutrient-dense, whole food diet, and limit our intake of processed foods -- vegetarian/vegan or not.




About the author:
Luke Jones is the creator of Health Room, the blog dedicated to investigating and sharing ideas in plant based nutrition, moving freely, living mindfully and existing sustainably.

Luke is a graduate of Imperial College London, a martial artist, and plant based nutritionist.

He enjoys exploring natural movement and eating a whole-food, plant based diet. He also loves seeing other people chase their dreams, and realise their health potential.

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