Overall thestudies support the research question presented, in that the health benefits ofa vegan diet outweigh the potential downfalls. Additionally, a vegan diet candecrease the prevalence of obesity as well as help overweight or obeseindividuals 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 associatedwith benefits, it can present vitamin deficiencies; thus, it is important totake appropriate vitamin and mineral supplements. Vitamin B12 andvitamin B deficiencies are the most common along with low levels of fattyacids, iron, and calcium (Macknin et al, 2015).
Even though eachstudy focused on a specific target population – Adventists, obese children, andworking adults; the results from each study were similar in that the effects ofadopting a vegan diet are beneficial to not only the individual’s health butalso in lowering the nationwide obesity epidemic. As previously mentioned,obesity in America is exponentially rising. According to the CDC, 70.
7% ofAmericans, including children and adults, are either overweight or obese(Gussone, 2017). Overweight and obese children are more likely to stay obese aswell as develop other chronic health problems that can lead to a prematuredeath. Due to these increased numbers, it is essential to start educatingchildren and adolescents about healthy food options, meal preparation, and theeffects of diet on health.
The review ofthese studies implies that following a vegan diet can decrease the chance ofindividuals developing chronic health problems, which can ultimately increaselife expectancy as well as decrease premature deaths – dying before the age of65 years old. In addition to unhealthy food and a sedentary lifestyle, there isanother possible reason for the rising obesity rates: sleep deprivation. Lackof sleep is a risk factor for childhood and adult obesity (Gussone, 2017).
Individualswho are sleep deprived may be too tired to exercise and cause them to consumemore calories as well as experience hormone changes that can affect appetite. In conclusion,the negative effects of the obesity epidemic are overwhelming and devastating.Obesity can lead to hypertension, type II diabetes, heart disease, and astroke, which are serious health conditions that are responsible for the deathof millions of Americans annually. Preventing obesity through diet,specifically a vegan diet, is an effective step to decreasing the prevalence ofthe aforementioned health conditions as well as relieving the burden on theAmerican health care system; which makes up $190 billion a year inweight-related medical bills (Gussone, 2017).