Table 1

Anthropometric and dietary characteristics of 292 women meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans

Arithmetic means and SDs

VariableMeat-eaters (n = 99)Vegetarians (n = 101)Vegans (n = 94)Test of heterogeneity
Nondietary variables
 Age (yr)45 (14.0)44 (13.8)44 (12.8)0.689
 Height (cm)164 (6.31)163 (5.39)163 (6.53)0.370
 Weight (kg)62.2 (9.17)59.7 (7.99)58.6 (6.53)0.013
 BMI (kg/m2)23.1 (3.27)22.5 (2.91)22.0 (3.01)0.039
Dietary variables
 Energy (MJ/day)8.29 (2.81)7.79 (2.25)7.42 (2.06)0.092
 Protein (% energy)17.6 (3.29)13.7 (2.28)13.5 (2.04)<0.0001
  Animal proteina (% energy)10.9 (3.68)4.81 (2.18)0<0.0001
  Soya protein (% energy)0.24 (0.46)1.05 (1.14)3.11 (1.96)<0.0001
  Animal plus soya protein (% energy)11.1 (3.55)5.86 (2.07)3.11 (1.96)<0.0001
  Nonsoya plant protein (% energy)6.50 (1.40)7.84 (1.69)10.4 (1.73)<0.0001
 Carbohydrate (% energy)49.2 (6.74)52.4 (6.53)53.8 (6.91)<0.0001
 Total fat (% energy)30.6 (6.29)31.1 (6.40)30.6 (7.08)0.826
 Saturated fatty acids (% energy)9.74 (3.39)8.92 (3.66)5.37 (2.01)<0.0001
 Monounsaturated fatty acids (% energy)9.24 (2.63)8.45 (2.81)8.42 (3.13)0.077
 Polyunsaturated fatty acids (% energy)4.91 (1.71)5.73 (2.04)8.10 (2.95)<0.0001
 Alcohol (% energy)2.67 (3.37)2.75 (3.44)2.12 (3.25)0.368
 P:S ratio0.56 (0.25)0.71 (0.32)1.61 (0.36)<0.0001
 Cholesterol (mg/day)211 (123)109 (68.9)∼0b<0.0001
 Starch (g/day)117 (47.7)127 (47.7)138 (46.0)0.0006
 Total sugars (g/day)133 (54.7)123 (40.4)106 (41.7)<0.0001
 Non-starch polysaccharides (g/day)20.9 (8.41)23.4 (8.31)27.9 (10.8)<0.0001
 Zinc (mg/day)c10.6 (5.03)9.49 (5.57)10.0 (5.91)0.366
  • a Animal protein is protein derived from meat, fish, dairy, egg and mixed animal and plant protein sources.

  • b Cholesterol intake among vegans is negligible.

  • c Includes intake from supplements.