ADA Sanctions Vegetarian Diets: Will Americans Follow?

The American Dietetic Association (ADA) has long stated that appropriately-planned vegetarian and vegan diets are appropriate for individuals at every stage of the life-cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Just recently though, the ADA released an updated position paper in support of vegetarianism. The new paper, which can be found at, focuses more on vegetarian nutrition, bone health, and information on how vegetarian diets can prevent and treat common conditions, including cancer, ischemic heart disease,  hypertension, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

The ADA points out that a vegetarian diet can meet the recommendations for protein, n-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, and vitamins D and B-12, as well as other essential nutrients, and estimates that the number of vegetarians in the United States will increase over the next decade. This is great news, but I can’t help but wonder, with all the health benefits of a vegetarian diet–not to mention the ethical and environmental aspects of vegetarianism–why aren’t more Americans kicking the meat habit?

One reason might be that certain foods, including meat and cheese, contain addictive chemicals that keep people coming back for more…and more…and more. In Breaking the Food Seduction: The Hidden Reasons Behind Food Cravings—and 7 Steps to End Them Naturally, Dr. Neal Barnard, the president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, explains that meat and cheese, as well as sugar and chocolate, contain opiate-like substances that keep people hooked—and unhealthy.

According to Dr. Barnard, it takes just three weeks for people to stop craving unhealthy foods. That’s why it’s easier to stop eating meat and cheese altogether than it is to try to eat them “in moderation.” Breaking unhealthy eating habits can be hard, but, as 7.3 million vegetarian Americans, including 1 million vegans, have shown; it can be done. The question, I suppose, is, “Do enough people want to?”

I can’t think of any reason why anyone wouldn’t want to eat healthful, compassionate, green, great-tasting foods, so perhaps the ADA’s reassurance and advice will give people more incentive to go vegetarian. If you want tips on eating a nutritionally-balanced vegetarian diet, see the Vegetarian Resource Group’s Web site at, or visit for a free vegetarian starter kit.

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Gary G.
Gary G.4 years ago

Care2 has a membership counter at the top of the page which registers more than 15,000,000 members. Is there any way to tell what percentage of your membership is in fact vegetarian or vegan?

Gary G.
Gary G.4 years ago

Why does Care2 which professes to support vegetarian diet
advertise meat sausage?

Gary G.
Gary G.4 years ago

Another difficulty of being a vegan or vegetarian in society at
large is eating besides being our major form of sustenance is
also a form of social communion. People with special diets
tend to be frowned upon. Showing up at a social function where
food is served and asking that the food be labeled vegie is considered socially improper and obnoxious, like walking into
a bar and asking for a fruit juice. Hopefully the rumor human consciousness is rising is true, and that more and more people
will become aware the atrocity of slaughter houses is permitted
because people believe they have to eat meat. Success in life
means you get to eat what you like to eat, what you like that
tastes good. Thank goodness more and more restaurants are
coming up with a few tasty vegie dishes. It's been a long time coming!

Carolina O.
Carolina O.5 years ago

It's great! once people know you're a vegetarian they only ask about your possible health problems and stuff...
I've been a vegetarian for almost four years now and my health hasn't changed for worse in any way.. but the fact that in some countries like colombia there are so little possibilities of veg food makes it really hard..
besides.. I think we need to promote other food alternatives different from soy, cause the fact that growing it is destroying a representative part of the Amazones makes a lot of people, including me, worried about the bad consequenses our eating habits could also have on the planet..

Amen Sigala
amen Sigala6 years ago

P.S. - Ms.Delores,
I just finished reading I Tim 4:1-5 and in my Bible there is NO mention of meats. Just "abstinence from foods, which God created". And all I can think of is all these silly diets that say we shouldn't have potatoes, corn, grains etc because it's starchy foods and to eat perdominatly animal flesh and fats like cream, oils, eggs that this part of Timothy is refering to. Like the Atkins diet, he was demonicly possed either literaly or figurativly. This was one of the most mindless uncivilized diets created, especialy from a physician (doctor in Latin means teacher). Ok Sister in Christ, my Bible did not have the word meat in I Tim 1-5. And I've read it several times to make sure checking if it's in the other parts close to this chapter. So far no where in sight.
Love & Peace in Christ,
amen sigala

Amen Sigala
amen Sigala6 years ago

Delores Diamond hello,
The Bible also states the lion shall lay with the lamb & there will be peace on Earth as there was in the Garden of Eden. There is a vegetarian organisation The Christian Vegetarian Association please check it out. Jesus in bringing the New Testiment said it's The Spirit of the Law he has come Not the Letter. And politicly the Catholic Church altered the Bible long ago. Therefore hence we have The Protestants - protestants of The Mother Church and her corruptors bringing humanity to the dark ages-midevil times of thinking, feeling, being.
Eating flesh of anykind is not progressive nor is it Holy. Vegetarianism is and always will be the way of true nurishment as it was in the begining as written in The story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. A reminder:
It's the Spirit not the Letter that Christ came to enlighten humanty to follow.

Sarah G.
Sarah G.6 years ago

I know this is off track but it really bothers me: Bill C. stated "Michael Phelps greatest olympic athlete ever, eats burgers and subway...". Yes he won 8 medals, but swimming is one of the few if not the only sport were one could possibly accomplish this, if he was on a team playing, say basketball or lacrosse he would have spent an entire olympics chasing after one medal. Decathletes participate in ten sports over two days all for one medal. To declare Phelps "the greatest athlete" is ridiculous.

penelope p.
penelope p.6 years ago

i have been a vegetarian for over 45 yrs. i have raised 4 healthy children as vegetarian, 3 boys, 2 over 6'4", the other 5'10, my daughter is 5'6" a lack of vitamins, minerals and protein in a vegan diet is ridiculous. no worries

' my daughter is 5'6
', m

Katie Moore
Katie Moore6 years ago

Thank God for Dr. Barnard and the information contained in his book regarding diabetes.
I have reduced my blood sugar numbers drastically by following his counsel. The times my numbers are high are based on poor meal planning caused by emotions...What is eating me. Am I rushed, tired, angry, upset, etc. Some day, hopefully soon, I'll learn the things that I eat that are bad for me will not solve any of the above. I have found it is good to stop a minute and identify what is going on and have an alternate in mind. It can be as simple as taking a walk, reading a chapter in a good book, or a nap.

Under the heading of counting your blessings, isn't it fortunate that the disease can be controlled. Wow, do I feel better when my blood sugar numbers are in range.

Matsi Yasei
Matsi Yasei6 years ago

One very, undeniable, significant, and painfully obvious fact of our human bodies-no animal products=no cholesterol. That's honestly all that's needed. A vegan diet makes the number one killer in the US go out the window. If we were supposed to eat meat, then we'll not have cholesterol induced heart attacks, would we? If looking into the eyes of a dying animal is not enough to stop eating meat, maybe your life being at stake is. Of course, eating meat is selfish and short-sighted anyway because you deem a life less important then your taste buds. Heck, it's even more convenient being veg since fruits and vegetables can be eaten raw. Trying eating meat raw, and one way or another, you'll have some medical bills.