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A Silly New Study Says Vegetarianism Is Decoy for Eating Disorders

Oh, hey, look: Another study is pointing to the negative side of vegetarianism. It probably isn't worth any ink, but seeing as this is the internet, where the ink comes free, let's take a peek at this new piece in Time. The headline-"Study: Is Vegetarianism a Teen Eating Disorder?"-asks a silly question presumably intended to make parents worry and meat-eaters feel great. The answer is obviously no, but let's look at the logic.Wily teens, says the study, are using broccoli and mungbean sprouts to fool their parents into thinking they're being healthy and saving animals like Lisa Simpson, when really they might just be trying to lose weight. (And then they binge eat.)About the binging: The study says that roughly 20% of the veggies sometimes binge eat, compared with only 5% of those who had always eaten meat. I haven't bought the whole study, so I'm not sure what they mean by binge eating (i.e. a bag of Fritos now and then, or, like, an entire birthday cake once a week?), but I think that's beside the point.The interesting bit is that the numbers are self-reported: Vegetarians, like anyone who follows a restrictive diet, are by design more thoughtful about what they eat. They have to be in order to navigate menus, cook, and eat processed foods-just like people who keep kosher, or have allergies. So it's no wonder that when vegetarians-or people who keep kosher, or have allergies-do eat their hearts out, they're more likely to have given it some thought, and therefore will be more likely to report it. Right?Wait, maybe that's also beside the point. The actual point is that people love coming up with ways to make people question the healthiness of vegetarian diets, despite convincing research that vegetarians have lower risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, have smaller carbon footprints, and live longer.And as a most-of-the-time vegetarian who was an all-the-time veg as a teenager, I can say with confidence I didn't go veg to save animals or lose weight. I did it because I thought it was cool.Image via

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