Are vegetarians more prone to mental illness? Some studies point to yes, but that may be a misinterpretation.
Are vegetarians more prone to mental illness? Some studies point to yes, but that may be a misinterpretation. For Psychology Today, Hal Herzog, a professor of psychology at Western Carolina University, took a closer look at recent research to find links between plant-based diets and mental illness, including a 2012 German study that found vegetarians and semi-vegetarians were more likely than nonvegetarians to suffer from anxiety, depression, eating, and somatoform disorders (mental illnesses that cause bodily symptoms like pain). Herzog explains that while there may be a link proven between the two, the hypotheses that vegetarianism causes mental illness has been proven false. He also addresses the weak spots in “link-think” studies in general (there’s another that linked being a “dog person” with lower intelligence). “Be especially wary of health claims that start with ‘The researchers found a link between,’” Herzog writes. A refreshing perspective.