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Nutrition, Disease and Public Health - Essay Example

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Nutrition, Disease and Public Health

Although they appeared to agree on the importance of vegetarian diet on the individuals and groups, these studies also pointed out certain deficiencies of strict vegetarianism in light of its efficacy to promote health and lessen the incidence of cancer. Similar findings were also contained in the results from studies conducted by Marsh, Zeuschner, and Saunders, (2012) and Benetou (2008). However, some of the studies such as Benetou (2008) found out that there were no statistically significant associations between a vegetarian diet and the risk of cancer. Studies seeking to determine the precise links between vegetarianism and the risk of cancer have encountered shortcomings of controls and lack of experimental data linking specific nutrients to the risk of cancer (Rose, 2008, p. 41; Mangels, Messina, & Messina, 2011, 60). As such, many of these studies remain observational studies, which expose them to higher degrees of error of inaccuracies. Other challenges associated with these studies are that they are no optimum quantities of diet portions that could be used as standards in determining trends and outcomes between the practice of a particular diet and the risk associated with cancer. Despite such shortcomings, various studies have endeavored to explore the relationship between plant-based diets and the risk of cancer. The findings of these studies have been used to build on, or contest against some theories and propositions that associate forms of diet with the risk of cancer. Vegetarianism and types of cancers A study conducted by Kay et al (2009) found out that the risk of certain cancers was lesser in individuals who practiced different kinds of vegetarianism. According to the study, the risk of such cancers as stomach cancer, ovarian cancer, bladder cancer, and blood cancer was lesser among vegetarians as compared to non-vegetarians. The study also associated meat eaters with a higher incidence of malignant cancer as compared to vegetarians or individuals who ate fish. Some findings did not show the existence of any difference in meat and fish as the possible causes of cancer within the population. This study involved 61, 566 participants sourced from across the United Kingdom. As such, it might be argued that it was sufficiently representative of the British population, and therefore consistent with the patterns of health and nutrition as observed within the British society. The study was longitudinal in nature as it was conducted between the year 1980 and 1984. A five-year period was is significant enough to provide credible findings on the relationship between cancer and nutrition. Another notable feature of the study is that it incorporated a range of other lifestyle health issues such as smoking and alcohol consumption. In this manner, the study was able to obtain a comprehensive picture regarding other possible causative agents of cancer. In terms of statistics, the findings showed that vegetarians have a 45 % lesser chance of suffering from blood cancers as compared to non-vegetarians. The study also found out that vegetarians had a 12 % lesser risk of suffering from any other type of cancer as compared to non-vegetarians. The merits of this study might be determined from the fact that the findings are consistent with other studies that have focused on diet and nutrition ...Show more
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NUTRITION, DISEASE, AND PUBLIC HEALTH By Institution Date Nutrition, Disease, and Public Health Introduction Past and recent studies on the relationship between vegetarianism and cancer provide findings that affirm or deny the proposition on the existence causal links between nutrition and the incidence of cancer…
Nutrition, Disease and Public Health
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