Fraudulent study claims that eating a vegetarian diet has no impact on your mortality
03/17/2019 // Lance D Johnson // Views

A skewed, misleading Australian study suggests that vegetarian diets have no effect on longevity. The suggestion is based on cherry-picked data taken from Australia’s “45 and Up Study.” The average age studied was 62 and the follow-up period averaged just 6 years. The study factored out the unhealthiest people, skewing the death rate results. On top of that, the study didn’t look at equal population pools of vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The study only presented skewed death rate percentages and didn’t differentiate the age when the people passed away from each group.

The researchers collected data from the “45 and Up Study," but the study did not reveal the age when the deceased precisely departed. The average age of adults in the study was 62, but many of the deceased could have departed in their upper forties. On the other end of the spectrum, some (vegetarians) may have died in their seventies and eighties. The study doesn’t actually investigate longevity or quality of life factors. The study only computed deaths and death rates, irrelevant of age. This study cannot make any conclusion on mortality if it cannot separate the ages when these deaths occurred.

Out of 243,096 men and women studied, there were 16,836 deaths. Eighty deaths were observed in vegetarians, but these could have occurred at any age, especially since the researchers only followed up for an average of six years. This gives way to another problem with this study. The researchers could have followed up with vegetarians up to ten years later to search out their death rates, but could have followed up with the others participants for only 2 to 3 years. In essence, the death rate could be even higher for non-vegetarians. The researchers didn’t follow up at an equal, set interval with all the study participants. Also, the follow up time is short and doesn’t allow adequate time to study why or how some people lived their remaining years. Perhaps some people were miserable, over-medicated, and on life support.


Misleading population pools skew death rate data

Even worse was how the data were represented. The 80 vegetarian deaths represented 5.3 percent of the total vegetarians in the study. The 16,756 other deaths were represented as 6.9 percent of the total number of deaths in the study; thereby making the percentages appear similar in scope. Even though meat-eaters represented over 94 percent of the total deaths in this study, vegetarians are portrayed as an equally dying subgroup. Maybe the meat-eaters could have prolonged their lives if they would have become vegetarians at some point. There’s no way of knowing. The study doesn’t investigate that. The study would have been more accurate if the researchers would have investigated an equal number of vegetarians to an equal number of meat-eaters.

If there were 1,510 vegetarians studied and 80 died (5.3 percent), then 1,510 meat eaters should have been studied, not 243,096. Depending on which people were studied out of the pool of 243,096, the death rate for the meat eaters could have been as high as 100 percent, since there were 16,756 deaths by meat eaters total in the pool. Therefore, the study is a fraudulent depiction of mortality.

Unhealthiest meat-eaters factored out of the study

To make the study even more fraudulent, the researchers adjusted for factors to artificially lower the mortality rate for non-vegetarians. Non-vegetarians who routinely smoked, consumed alcohol, were diagnosed with high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke were factored out of the study. In the end, the researchers actually compared vegetarians with other healthy eaters who just weren’t fully committed to a full vegetarian/vegan lifestyle. After all, the study found that vegetarians were less likely to smoke, drink excessively, and be overweight or obese. They were also less likely to report having heart disease or cancer.

In conclusion, this study is nothing but fake science, masquerading at facts. It’s merely pseudo warfare against people who are switching to a healthier, plant-based lifestyle. (Related: Did a plant-based diet cure this man's asthma?)

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