Rise in vegetarianism not halting obesity

Nearly 2.5 million Australians (12.1 per cent of the population) now have diets of which the food is all, or almost all, vegetarian, up from under 2.2 million (11.2 per cent) four years ago in 2014.

This continues the trend shown in a Roy Morgan release from three years ago – ‘The slow but steady rise of vegetarianism in Australia showing vegetarianism had steadily improved since 2012 when only 9.7 per cent of the population identified as having a vegetarian diet equivalent to 1.7 million Australians at the time.

However, the rising level of vegetarianism in Australia has yet to stop the increasing trend towards obesity. Now 28.5 per cent of Australians have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 30 and are classified as ‘Obese’, up 2.1 percentage points from four years ago.

There are also more ‘Underweight’ Australians than four years ago although the number remains small. Just 2.7 per cent of Australians are now classified as ‘Underweight’ up 0.2 percentage points from four years ago. ‘Underweight’ Australians have a BMI below 18.5.

In contrast to four years ago there are now fewer Australians with a BMI in the ‘Acceptable weight’ range between 18.5 to 25, now 33.9 per cent (down 1.3 percentage points).

The good news on the BMI front is that there are now fewer Australians classified as ‘Overweight’ with a BMI between 25 to 30. Now 32.2 per cent (down 0.6 percentage points) are classified as ‘Overweight’.

Why do you think vegetarianism is gaining in popularity?



This is only my personal opinion. I don't think it's wise to go full on wth a vegan diet. We have reduced our intake of meat and added more veggies and legumes, but the protein derived from meat is necessary for good health.

I also think the price and quality of meat has a lot to do with people abstaining.

I agree most people are abstaining from meat because of the price. Many junk food places provide vegan options for customers that are concerned for the environment and the horrific animal abuses.


That's the main reason they are getting fat. The ingredients are all GMO and full of nasties. They would lose weight if they cooked their own meals. Shopping for ingredients, preparation, cooking and washing up dishes burns calories. haha

No it is a complete myth that you need protein from meat. Broccoli and spinach have more protein than meat and not you do not need to eat more, that is a spin by the meat industries.

I have not eaten flesh or anything with a pulse for over 70 years and am still active and healthy, meat anfd fish are not a requirement for good health.

Great to hear 80 plus, there are many more people overseas that are like you but not too many in Australia. My mum is 82 and the only vego among all the people she knows.

These are very broad brush figures. Just because there is an increase in both average BMI and vegetarianism does not imply any kind of relationship. It could be that non-vegetarians account for all the increase, although I suspect that it is far more complicated than that. For example, high BMI people recently adopting a vegetarian diet in the belief that it wil lead to a better outcome. 

Agree the price of meat and fish makes more people becoming vegetarian.

My love of all animals just makes it impossible for me to consider eating any...  I’m very happy to be vegetarian!!

Crap is still crap even if it is vegan, vegetarian, gluten free (this is even worse crap) , dairy free, egg free organic, raw or anything else. It's just more expensive crap. 

Processed food is the cause of weight gain, when people eat processed foods that lack fibre they tend to eat less fruit and veg. Also many vegetarians eat too much dairy products that are high in fat, and vegans can eat too many nuts that are high in fat. There are many reasons why people can put on weight but eating the wrong foods and lack of exercise is most likely the cause. Even medications can contribute to weight gain by upsetting your hormonal balance and the way your thryoid works. A wholefood plant based diet will help you control weight and health problems by getting the right nutrients you need. Did you know that banana's are high in iron? and rich in potassium that helps regulate heart rate. Forksoverknives.com has a lot of information if you are seeking more.

And to answer the question: People are slowly becoming more aware we do not need to eat meat, and also they are becoming aware of animal cruelty. The quality of meat these days may be contributing , they are injected with dyes to make them look fresh too. Price I do not think this is an issue because there are still many meat products that are not expensive.

People should eat more insects if they think they need protein from animal sources.

We could solve 2 problems here by declaring ever 2nd Friday cane toad day ,I believe the legs are safe to eat

A fat vegan! I love it!

I don't carewhat you eat, be it lawn clippings or raw liver, just don't try to force others to do it your way. I'm not forcing you to live on my diet!

No one is force feeding anyone here. Besides meat eating is always being put in my face, on TV, in the shops, people at bbq's, I smelt it today going for a walk past the park, but what can I do? Nothing, so us vego's just have to put up with it and so should meat eaters put up with vego's. But vego's are always being put down for their choices and made fun of constantly. And yet there have been vegetarians in the world for ever, look at India there are many there and they live side by side with meat eaters quite peacefully.

As for the weight thing, yes it is possible for vegans to be fat, if you eat too much and don't exercise it is the same for everyone.



Interesting thoughts.

it would not have occured to me that immediate hip pocket cost would be a powerful motivator of vegetarianism at all. I may be a relatively long-term vegetarian/sometime vegan but I do find the funds for the foods of others in the family. Very often they would buy meat much more cheaply then when they try to buy that meat-like vegetarian stuff attempting to make meals we are likely to all eat.

BTW. I do get to eat a bit of that and sometimes find it quite tasty these days where it used to be the most inane pulp on the planet. LOVE Char Siu though. Its supposed to be a BBQ pork look-a-like. The texture is great but the flavour fortunately doesn't remind of pork. Thats chinese. Some of those age old concoctions made to serve at buddhist meat free festivals just suck me right in. I have a little here but seek them out robustly on S.E Asian visits, even attempt to time visits to suit. 

It's a mystery to me why some people knock others because of what they eat. I am a moderate meat eater, but I respect people who are vegans. Live and let live.

Because some people do not like "different" they are the same who knock others for all sorts of reasoning.


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