Essay by happy_xyz_1231F, April 2004

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Vegetarianism has a long history in the world. Today, 2.5 percent of Americans and 8.1 percent of Asians are vegetarians (Fetto, 2000). This means these people never eat red meat, poultry, or fish (Fetto, 2000). Vegetarianism has some positive effects, such as heart benefits and diabetes management (Vegetarianism: Addition by subtraction, 2004). On the other hand, vegetarianism has some negative effects that are usually ignored by most people, such as poor nutrition and eating disorders (Dedyna, 2004). These negative effects are alarming. It is important to pay attention to what reasons can lead to vegetarianism and how these can result in a chain of negative consequences.

The cause of vegetarianism is very complicated. There are several reasons for vegetarianism, including health reasons, religious reasons and moral reasons. Many people are worrying about their health because some diseases are related to diet. For example, a few people don't eat meat because of digestive difficulties.

Also, a few Religions don't allow eating meat, such as Buddhism. Finally, many people don't want to become killers of animals, so they give up meat (Tunick, 2002). All these reasons cause vegetarianism and influence people's health.

If people are vegetarians, it can result in eating problems. The vegetarians may not have enough nutrition because of the exclusion of some food groups from their diets. As a result, the total energy, fat and protein intake of vegetarian diets may be lower than non-vegetarian diets (Inge, 1996). At the same time, vegetarians may have deficiencies in iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and calcium (Inge, 1996). For example, all animal foods contain vitamin B12. However, vitamin B12 is not found in most plant foods (Inge, 1996). Moreover, vegetarians easily get eating disorders. "The scores on an Eating Attitudes Test showed 37 percent of the vegetarians at risk for disordered...