A recent study conducted in the UK has shed light on the potential risks associated with different diets. Researchers aimed to understand if there’s a connection between certain diets and the likelihood of hip fractures in middle-aged adults. They specifically looked at the impact of meat-free diets on this risk.
The study involved over 400,000 women, with different diet groups categorized as regular meat-eaters, occasional meat-eaters, pescatarians (who eat fish but no other meat), and vegetarians. Researchers followed the participants for an average of 12.5 years to observe any incidents of hip fractures.
The findings revealed a significant difference in hip fracture risk between the groups. Vegetarians were found to have a 50% higher risk of hip fractures compared to regular meat-eaters after taking other factors into account. On the other hand, there was no substantial difference in hip fracture risk for occasional meat-eaters or pescatarians.
To put it into perspective, the increased risk meant approximately 3.2 more hip fractures per 1000 people over a decade among vegetarians compared to regular meat-eaters.
Interestingly, the researchers also analyzed the role of body mass index (BMI) in this risk. It turns out that lower BMI in vegetarians played a part in their higher risk of hip fractures. In fact, BMI explained around 28% of the observed risk difference between vegetarians and regular meat-eaters.
The study suggests that for vegetarians, maintaining a healthy weight and ensuring they get all the necessary nutrients is crucial in reducing the risk of hip fractures.
It’s important to remember that this study only found an association between vegetarian diets and hip fracture risk, and more research is needed to establish any cause-and-effect relationship. However, the findings highlight the importance of dietary choices and proper nutrition in maintaining strong and healthy bones. If you’re following a meat-free diet, it might be beneficial to pay extra attention to your nutrient intake and weight management to safeguard your bone health.