Does Vegetarianism Depress You Or Are Vegetarians Just Nuts?


Interesting research here looking at rates of mental health – specifically depression – in vegetarians. That rate is higher than in the general population. So, yes we’re right and have been all along – vegetarians are not as other men. We do still have a certain problem here though:

Vegetarians [n = 350 (3.6% of sample)], had higher depression scores on average than non-vegetarians (mean difference 0.96 points [95%CI + 0.53, + 1.40]) and a greater risk for EPDS scores above 10 (adjusted OR = 1.67 [95% CI: 1.14,2.44]) than non-vegetarians after adjustment for potential confounding factors.

Our problem being, well, why? One idea discussed is the thought that there’s some nutritional deficiency in the standard vegetarian diet which leads to depression. One not discussed but which makes sense is that the contemplation of a life containing copious tofu and no bacon is depressing. Well, that obviously makes sense, clearly.

But there is the other possibility of course:

however reverse causation cannot be ruled out.

Nutters become vegetarians, therefore more nutters among vegetarians is not a surprise.