studies support the research question presented, in that the health benefits of
a vegan diet outweigh the potential downfalls. Additionally, a vegan diet can
decrease the prevalence of obesity as well as help overweight or obese
individuals lose weight. From all three correlational studies, following a vegan,
plant-based diet has shown declines in cardiovascular disease, hypertension,
type II diabetes, and obesity across America. While a vegan diet is associated
with benefits, it can present vitamin deficiencies; thus, it is important to
take appropriate vitamin and mineral supplements. Vitamin B12 and
vitamin B deficiencies are the most common along with low levels of fatty
acids, iron, and calcium (Macknin et al, 2015).
Even though each
study focused on a specific target population – Adventists, obese children, and
working adults; the results from each study were similar in that the effects of
adopting a vegan diet are beneficial to not only the individual’s health but
also in lowering the nationwide obesity epidemic. As previously mentioned,
obesity in America is exponentially rising. According to the CDC, 70.7% of
Americans, including children and adults, are either overweight or obese
(Gussone, 2017). Overweight and obese children are more likely to stay obese as
well as develop other chronic health problems that can lead to a premature
death. Due to these increased numbers, it is essential to start educating
children and adolescents about healthy food options, meal preparation, and the
effects of diet on health.
The review of
these studies implies that following a vegan diet can decrease the chance of
individuals developing chronic health problems, which can ultimately increase
life expectancy as well as decrease premature deaths – dying before the age of
65 years old. In addition to unhealthy food and a sedentary lifestyle, there is
another possible reason for the rising obesity rates: sleep deprivation. Lack
of sleep is a risk factor for childhood and adult obesity (Gussone, 2017). Individuals
who are sleep deprived may be too tired to exercise and cause them to consume
more calories as well as experience hormone changes that can affect appetite.
the negative effects of the obesity epidemic are overwhelming and devastating.
Obesity can lead to hypertension, type II diabetes, heart disease, and a
stroke, which are serious health conditions that are responsible for the death
of millions of Americans annually. Preventing obesity through diet,
specifically a vegan diet, is an effective step to decreasing the prevalence of
the aforementioned health conditions as well as relieving the burden on the
American health care system; which makes up $190 billion a year in
weight-related medical bills (Gussone, 2017).