The study reignites debate about the benefits and limitations of vegan diets
The study reignites debate about the benefits and limitations of vegan diets

People who become vegan to look 'fashionable' are risking their health, dietician warns

The warning comes as it is revealed that the number of vegans in the UK has increased 350 per cent over the course of the last decade

Siobhan Fenton
Wednesday 18 May 2016 15:05

People are risking serious harm to their health by adopting a vegan diet to appear ‘fashionable’, a leading dietician has warned.

What is a vegan diet?

Vegans don't eat any food which involves an animal product. This includes meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs and honey.

Catherine Collins from the British Association of Dieticians says she is concerned that rather than being related to health needs or ethical concerns, people are becoming vegan as a ‘lifestyle choice’ inspired by celebrities, without thinking through the consequences of the diet.

She said: “What we’re seeing is a kind of new food puritanism. There is this idea of a pure, unadulterated, ideal diet. People see pictures of Gwyneth Paltrow and an immaculate bowl of pomegranates and they want the same. It’s like having the latest fashion but you’re potentially messing with your long term health.

“When people come to veganism through their religion they know how to do it properly. They know how to make up for what they don’t get in meat and dairy, but that’s often not the case in the people becoming vegans today on the basis of pictures they see online.”

New research has also revealed the number of Britons who are vegan has increased 350 per cent over the course of the last decade. The Vegan Society estimates that at least 542,000 people in the UK are currently vegan.

A vegan diet is one which excludes any animal products including meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs and honey. Many proponents say the diet has a number of health benefits. However, some dieticians argue that vegans risk not getting enough protein and important vitamins and nutrients such as B12 and calcium.

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