According to research conducted by the Humane Research Council surveying 11,000 American adults, two percent of those polled were currently vegetarians, and 88 percent reported always having included meant and/or fish in their diet. However, most significantly, the data showed 84 percent of vegetarians eventually resorted back to meat. Fifty-three percent began eating meat again within a year, and approximately 30 percent within three months.
These findings emerge following study by George Washington University researchers made public in November which suggests a vegetarian diet is highly successful in limiting blood sugar levels and in turn may provide relief to patients with type 2 diabetes.
Other findings of the study include,
- The average age at which to adopt a vegetarian diet is 34.
- 58 percent cite the motivation to adopt a vegetarian diet was health.
Researchers of the study note the rate of regression is high, and want to further investigate reasons as to why many vegetarians return to meat. Current data shows 63 percent of those that returned disliked that their diet was considered alternative and 43 percent of those found it too difficult to maintain a purely plant-based diet.
Nutritionist Lisa Young says the transition to a vegetarian or vegan diet is more likely to last longer if the person does not suddenly quit meat cold turkey. As quoted in an article by The Daily News, Young recommends,
If you start by eating smaller portions of pork or chicken, then cutting out all meat and dairy for a month, you can get a better feel for it.”
Meatless Mondays, a campaign launched by the John Hopkins School of Public Health, encourages people to incorporate vegetarian alternatives into their diet as a way of improving health and the environment. Such initiatives promote a gradual shift towards the diet, as recommended by Young.
Read more here- “Vegetarian Relapse: 84% of Non-Meat Eaters Abandon Their Diet for Animal Products,” (Stephanie Castillo, Medical Daily)
Olivia is a graduate of Villanova University where she studied Economics and History, minoring in Gender and Women's Studies. She also has experience working with federal legislatures on health care policy, women's issues, and Internet safety.