Vegetarian Society - response to Daily Mail article.
25 August 2015
The Daily Mail published an article entiled “Hair loss, chronic exhaustion and even mental breakdowns: How three women ruined their health by giving up meat”
The Vegetarian Society felt there were several issues in the article that warranted a response from the Vegetarian Society. In the Vegetarian Society’s view the piece was in many instances inaccurate and in essence misleading and scientific evidence runs counter to the author’s stance. Our letter, as yet not published, can be read below:
Re: ‘How three women ruined their health by giving up MEAT’, Femail section of the Daily Mail online, 24/08/2015.
We were disappointed to read the above article, which gave a very misleading impression of vegetarian nutrition.
It is crucial that women of all ages receive clear, unbiased information to help them make good dietary choices and maintain their health – especially when it relates to something as important as reproductive or post-menopausal nutrition.
Meat is certainly not, as the article put it ‘a requirement’ in our diets. Taking the example of iron, according to the latest figures from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, the majority of iron in the average UK adult’s diet is obtained from vegetarian sources, with only one-fifth coming from meat. Studies show that concentrations of haemoglobin in the blood are similar for vegetarians and non-vegetarians, and in the largest study of its kind (involving 43,582 people) iron intakes of female vegetarians and meat-eaters are equal.
For those 1 in 10 women of childbearing age mentioned in the article for whom iron deficiency is a clinical problem, it is misleading to imply that vegetarianism is the issue. Statistically, the large majority of these women will be meat-eaters and in any case in these extreme instances dietary sources of iron, even from meat, are unlikely to be sufficient to resolve the matter.
If the stories of the women in your article serve to illustrate anything it is that women need fact-based information that helps them eat well rather than mis-information about the role of meat in the British diet.
If, having read this article, anyone would like to be reassured of the nutritional adequacy of a vegetarian diet and would like more information about meeting all their vegetarian nutritional needs, then they should not hesitate to contact us at the Vegetarian Society.
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