Healthy? Ve­g­ans take more sick days than car­ni­vores!

Daily Mail - - News - By Vic­to­ria Allen Science Cor­re­spon­dent

FOR many ve­g­ans, the health ben­e­fits are one of the mo­tives for switch­ing to a plant-based diet.

This does not, how­ever, guar­an­tee be­ing fit and ready for work, a study sug­gests.

Ve­g­ans are more likely to suc­cumb to win­ter bugs, tak­ing al­most twice the av­er­age time away from their desk for ill­ness.

This works out as nearly five days a year, three times as much as meat-eaters, re­veals re­search on 1,000 of­fice work­ers.

Ve­g­ans are also three times more likely than the av­er­age per­son to visit their GP dur­ing the cold and flu sea­son.

This month has been dubbed ‘Ve­gan­uary’ by a cam­paign to per­suade Bri­tons to adopt the diet – and bak­ery chain Greggs has even launched a ve­gan sausage roll. But the study by Fish­er­man’s Friend in­di­cates ve­g­ans take 4.78 days off a year for colds, flu and mi­nor ail­ments. Meat-eaters take 1.4 days off work a year for these rea­sons, and veg­e­tar­i­ans take 2.6 days, while the av­er­age among all Bri­tish work­ers is 2.5 days.

The an­nual sur­vey adds that ve­g­ans take more sick days than gluten-free and lac­tose-in­tol­er­ant peo­ple com­bined.

The re­sults also show that ve­g­ans are three times more likely to visit their GP for a cold or the flu, book­ing 2.6 ap­point­ments a year to see a doc­tor com­pared to the na­tional av­er­age of 0.7 vis­its.

Their sick days are on the rise, with two-thirds of ve­g­ans ad­mit­ting to tak­ing more time off work due to mi­nor ill­ness than in pre­vi­ous years. Among meat-eaters, half had taken the same amount of time off as the year be­fore and a third had taken less.

The sub­ject of di­ets was be­hind the res­ig­na­tion of Wil­liam Sitwell as editor of Waitrose Food mag­a­zine af­ter his joke to a free­lance writer who had sug­gested a se­ries on plant-based meals.

He replied: ‘How about a se­ries on killing ve­g­ans, one by one? Ex­pose their hypocrisy? Force­feed them meat?’

Last month ve­gan protesters oc­cu­pied a Waitrose su­per­mar­ket to tell shop­pers look­ing for fes­tive tur­keys that they were ‘buy­ing death for a cruel tra­di­tion’.

An es­ti­mated 3.5 mil­lion Bri­tons fol­low a ve­gan diet free from meat, dairy, eggs and other an­i­mal prod­ucts such as honey. The trend is be­ing driven by mil­len­ni­als, those born from 1980 to 2000.

Jon White, of lozenge maker Fish­er­man’s Friend, said: ‘Ev­ery year we spot dif­fer­ent trends but this is the first time we have recorded how many days peo­ple take off ac­cord­ing to their diet type.’ He said there was no ‘firm ex­pla­na­tion’ why ve­g­ans may have more time off sick.

Heather Rus­sell, of The Ve­gan So­ci­ety, said: ‘Re­search links this way of eat­ing with lower blood pres­sure and choles­terol, and lower rates of heart dis­ease, type 2 di­a­betes and some can­cers.’

‘Suc­cumb to win­ter bugs’

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