While vegetarians may have have healthier habits than their carnivorous counterparts, it looks like meat eaters win again. New research from the Medical University of Graz in Austria found that vegetarians are more likely to report poor everyday health and frequent the doctor’s office more often.
The study surveyed over 15,000 people, a mix of vegetarians, vegetarians who eat eggs and cheese, and meat eaters. The results showed that more than 30% of vegetarians surveyed had allergies, while less than 17% of participants who regularly included meat in their diet had allergies. Vegetarians were also more likely to report chronic health conditions, like heart disease and cancer, than meat eaters.
But don’t give up on kale just yet! Vegetarians do get some credit for leading healthier lifestyles; it turns out they are less likely to smoke and also drink less alcohol. The research also found that veg-heads were more physically active, had better socioeconomic status, and had better health behaviors overall.
While the study concludes that more research needs to be done on this topic (obviously), it seems that cutting out meat doesn't mean better health across the board.