Are Vegetarians at Risk for Eating Disorders?


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  • In my teens, my family adopted a macrobiotic vegan diet , I am now middle-aged and I have had some very serious eating disorders . I believe it goes back to the idea of good or shameful foods which is somewhat toxic also restricting certain foods which leads to a natural craving , it can be very tricky.

  • This is really awful , uses every statistical trick in the book . A portion of the vegetarians are going to be in the superhealthy group to add to their already great health with vegetarianism . Conversely in the meat-eating group are going to be all the people that don't give a crap about their health and shovel in any old garbage all day . My father was good friends with Greg Sams who started the first ever Vegan restaurant in London called Cranks. I have been intimately involved in veganisum vegetarianism , all sorts from childhood . Some of my career has been spent in sales and to me Dr Gregor is a salesperson . He presents great information but it's very biased it is not the whole picture . Think of it as one of many viewpoints and make up your own mind. I wish him and everyone well.

  • Eating disorders are a mental health problem. Empowering people with ED with knowledge, skill and understanding of how to eat and live a healthy lifestyle is what will help them. Then there are ED that have nothing to do with food but to cause self harm, in this case then an entirely different model of care is required.

  • So redux would be: sure these people are killing themselves and we've made zero progress in figuring out how to help them, but please don't blame Veganism. Wow, that's just great. This is why no matter how hard you try, flying a banner tends to cultishness and demotion of all other concerns in the name of protecting the brand. Sad..

  • Abby Langer, R.D. (Registered Dietitian) has said that eating a Carnivore Diet " can lead to Disordered Eating Behavior and a distorted attitude towards foods that have never been proven to be harmful (like vegetables). "  

    – – Abby says that Carnivore Shawn Baker has a new book coming out that claims the diet can cure common diseases that are thought to be lifelong and progressive and that they are often reversed on this diet.  Abby says that "_carnivore diet enthusiasts believe the diet will be beneficial for any or all of the following: weight loss, digestion, testosterone levels, cardiovascular health, curing/reversing disease, mood, and energy levels. None of these claims have been proven or shown through studies or research_ "  In Fact what she may not have known is that Shawn Baker's Testosterone levels are LOW, and his sugar levels are those of a diabetic 

    – – Abby does not come out and say it, but implies strongly that those that believe a Carnivore diet can cure illness may be delusional.

    – – Abby says that " Like many fad diets, the carnivore diet is a belief system, not a science-backed diet and everyone knows that a Belief System is a set of principles or tenets which together form the basis of a religion, philosophy, or moral code or in other words, a RELIGION or CULT.

    So, a Nationally recognized Registered Dietitian is saying that a Carnivore diet is a religion  and that it is NOT a science-backed diet

    – – Abby further goes on to say that a Carnivore Diet [it] " might not be good for your mental health

    Now the only question is Abby Langer a Vegan?  

    No ! – Just a normal person who thinks that those that choose this diet either already have a eating disorder, and are masking it by restricting there diet, or by eating the diet they will get an eating disorder and have a break with reality.  And believe it or not, she does not consider being a Vegan or Vegetarian to be unhealthy. 

    I think I will have to post on her BLOG about the fact that a KETO Diet is proven to be a dangerous diet. She has a HUGE following and once she knows, then she can let the world know.

  • Dr Greger I am reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari he is vegan. and he writes our ancestors were omnivorous apes who thrived on a wide variety of foods. Just trying to understand because no matter how much I try to stay vegan after 3 months I get cravings. Is it hard wired in our DNA ? is that why ? I’m having a tough time. He also writes about how wheat farming brought Sapiens so much agony and violence and no nutrients how bad it is for our teeth and how it made humans work harder than ever and it made us stay put where before we always traveled. I am just getting to the part of how we started dominating cow; chicken, sheep pigs it’s really gross and cruel, really good book I recommend it

  • Just look at the YouTube Vegans. Many of them are underweight, eat high fat and high sugar diets and are now making videos about how a Vegan diet made them sick. No, there eating disorder made them sick.

  • People try special diets, when we already are sick of something. It's not from a random thing.
    If it helps, it's good. Good luck everyone, and get healthy !

    WHO daily diet recommendations are a bliss, if in doubt. About 50g of protein, 50g of fats, 25g of sugars. All the rest is plant based. 200g of burger meat is 4X above the recommended dose. 1l of juice is 4X above the sugar dose. Eating olive oil like mad is above the recommended dose.

    It's like 2-4 spoons of each per day in recommended doses by the thousands of doctors that propose the WHO recommendations.

    The milk marketing would say anything to sell more.
    The meat marketing would sell anything to sell more.
    The sugar marketing would say anything to sell more.
    The processed food marketing would say anything to sell more.

    In reality it always comes down that we are sold more than we need to be healthy, because capitalism is like that.

  • Hi doc. I would like to ask you a question if you don't mind answering. Imagine I drink WPI shake which has 50gr of protein OR I ate 300gr steak which has 50gr of protein. Let's assume my body utilised 30gr of the protein. What happens to the 20gr leftover? Does my body convert it into fat? Can body store protein for hours?

  • I have a very long ED history (at least 35 years), but I didn't go vegan because of it. I went vegan for health (trying to avoid a family history of things) and ethics. The thing is, my ED got worse once I went vegan. 😩 I often feel deprived because I'm the only vegan in my family and at my job, and that really proves a major "trigger" when everyone is eating all of the things that I used to have that now I can' I'll binge on snacks (vegan, of course) in "retaliation". 😳 Then you have some plant-based doctors saying "no oil" and "low fat", blah, blah, blah.. and that leaves me feeling even more restricted and I wind up binging. 😭 I'm also extremely unhappy in my life and have long used food to cope, so… 😞 But I would never blame being vegan. I blame myself . I just wish I had a normal relationship with food. 😢

  • Ask girls/women with ED’s. In my early 20’s I had anorexia for 2 years and did use vegetarianism as a way to acceptably restrict when eating with others. Fortunately, I recovered and today it’s a choice to eat WFPB diet for compassionate and health reasons. So, as a parent or concerned friend/relative, etc., this could be a red flag for an ED.

  • Eating disorders are the least of your worries on a vegetarian or vegan diet. Mental illness from lack of DHA, b12 deficiency, Muscle loss (like dr greger has suffered) are a few things that are more important to worry about on plant based diets. Also increased uric acid, nitric oxide suppression, heart disease, diabetes from all the sugar and fructose, the list goes on and on.

  • I can confirm that in my case, becoming vegan has almost completely removed any impact my eating disorder has on my life. I am now 32 but have been struggling with eating disorders since I was 15. Went through all the stages of anorexia, bulimia, followed by binge eating and yo-yo dieting. Every time I'd try to '' eat healthier'' I'd start off with great intentions and slip back into anorexia or bulimia. I ended up just never thinking about what I ate at all because I was afraid to go back to anorexia or bulimia as soon as I tried to take care of my health/weight issue so I gained a considerable amount of weight. Going vegan at first I naturally lost 30 pounds without doing much effort – no calorie counting, just intuitive eating and doing sports I enjoyed. I've now been vegan for almost 2 years and even though I did not continue losing weight after the intial 30 I am now just maintaining my weight without ever having to think about what I'm eating. I think being vegan helped me gain confidence in myself because I am living my life according to my beliefs so I don't live in guilt of participating in an industry I loathe… And knowing that I can effortlessly maintain my weight/shape has also given me a feeling of control over my life that I did not have before. I don't strongly feel the need to look a certain way anymore, don't compare myself to models or other women I see on TV (most of the time, i think we all have moments of weakness where we feel down about ourselves but this barely ever happens to me anymore). I am not sure if I will lose any more weight eventually, maybe… I'm not really worried about it. I focus on eating healthy and moving alot and… life will do what it will do…

  • Conscious limitation of food intake—not by calories but by content and by time (fasting, and in particular, intermittent fasting) is proven to be the best weight reduction plan (see Dr. Jason Fung, The Obesity Code.)

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