Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia
Print version ISSN 1415-790X
TEIXEIRA, Rita de Cássia Moreira de Almeida et al. Nutritional status and lifestyle in vegetarians and omnivorous individuals - Grande Vitória - ES. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2006, vol.9, n.1, pp. 131-143. ISSN 1415-790X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2006000100016.
PURPOSE: To describe and analyze the nutritional status and the lifestyle of vegetarians and omnivorous people (35-64 year-olds) living in the metropolitan area of Vitória/ES. METHODS: An observational study of the prevalence of cases with retrospective evaluation of exposure was conducted in 67 non-exposed (vegetarians) and 134 exposed individuals to the typical occidental diet. Anthropometric and plasmatic levels of lipids were collected to establish the diagnosis of overweight, inadequacy of the waist to hip ratio (WHR) and hypercholesterolemia. Diet data were determined according to three 24-h recalls recorded during an interview. Urine was collected during a 12-h period (7 pm to 7 am) to estimate total sodium and potassium intake. The unpaired Student's t-test was used to compare the two groups and proportions were compared by the chi-square test. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05. RESULTS: There were significant differences in relation to occupations. Time spent in physical activities and time spent watching television and / or using a computer were higher in omnivorous. Vegetarians revealed healthier eating habits and less ingestion of lipids, proteins and sodium. The omnivorous presented a higher risk of overweight, WHR inadequacy and hypercholesterolemia (P values < 0.0001). HDL cholesterol was not different. CONCLUSION: Vegetarians presented a more adequate nutritional pattern and a smaller risk for chronic diseases, despite the small difference in physical activity between the groups studied.
Keywords : Vegetarian diet; Obesity; Physical activities; Lifestyle.