Diet is a very important aspect of a person’s health that protects you against diseases and gives you the energy you need to perform your day-to-day activities. According to National Geographic, human diets are commonly based on a person’s nutritional needs, the types of food available in a particular place, and cultural beliefs. Hence, several diets have emerged throughout the years, including vegan, pescatarian, carnivore diets, and many more.
Apart from its impact on a person’s health and nutrition, a recent study suggests that the risk of hip fracture can be linked to a person’s diet. The study assessed 35,372 women across the United Kingdom aged 35–69 years to investigate the risk of hip fracture in occasional meat-eaters, pescatarians, and vegetarians compared to regular meat-eaters and determine if body mass index (BMI) affects potential links between each diet group and hip fracture risk. We will explore the crucial findings of the said study in this article to understand better how your diet could potentially affect your risk of hip fracture.
Hip fractures are a very common issue among older women and are becoming more widespread across the globe due to the increasing population of older people. According to the source, health-related quality of life diminishes after hip fracture and death increases. There are also substantial social and economic costs that result from hip fractures which involve an international average cost of 12 months after the first hip fracture of $44,000 per patient.
With this, concerns regarding bone health and fracture risk among individuals on meat-free diets are increasing. According to statistics, around 5% of the US population, 3% of the UK population, and 30% of India’s population have vegetarian diets, and these numbers continue to increase worldwide. Therefore, understanding hip fracture risk in vegetarians, in particular, is becoming more important.
According to the new study under BMC medicine, vegetarians, excluding occasional meat-eaters or pescatarians, have a higher risk of hip fracture than regular meat-eaters. This increased risk of hip fracture in vegetarians compared to regular meat-eaters may be partly explained by:
Overall, vegetarian women were at a higher risk of hip fracture than regular meat-eaters. Understanding the relationship between hip fracture risks and diet can be strengthened by confirming the findings among men and other races. Researchers should also consider the role of BMI and abundant nutrients in animal-sourced foods to explain the said relationship better.
Webster, J., Greenwood, D. C., & Cade, J. E. (2022). Risk of hip fracture in meat-eaters, pescatarians, and vegetarians: Results from the UK women’s cohort study. BMC Medicine, 20(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-022-02468-0