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Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2010 Sep;60(3):220-6.

[Nutritional status, lifestyle and cardiovascular risk in lacto-ovo vegetarians and omnivore].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

  • 1Departamento de Nutrição, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, UFPE. Recife, PE, Brasil.


The aim of the present study was to assess socioeconomic characteristics, dietary intake, nutritional status and cardiovascular risk (using anthropometric indicators of central obesity) in lacto-ovo vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Two non-vegetarians were selected for each vegetarian (paired for gender and age) in order to increase the power of the statistical tests. The sample was made up of 87 individuals (58.6% males; 29 vegetarians and 58 non-vegetarians) with a mean age of 40 +/- 13 years. Among the socioeconomic characteristics, only the number of residents per household differed between groups, with a greater percentage of homes with five or more residents in the vegetarian group. Concerning lifestyle, the groups differed with regard to smoking habits (p < 0.001), with a higher proportion of smokers among the non-vegetarians. There were no significant differences between groups in any of the anthropometric variables studied. Concerning dietary intake, no difference between groups was found with regard to total calorie intake, but the consumption of proteins, total lipids, saturated fat and cholesterol was higher among the non-vegetarians, whereas carbohydrate and fiber intake was higher among the vegetarians. The results of the present study suggest that, although a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet is considered healthier due to the lower consumption of total fat, saturated fatty acids and cholesterol, there are no significant differences in nutritional status or anthropometric indicators of cardiovascular risk when lifestyle and total calorie intake are similar.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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