- The Washington Times - Monday, September 28, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As a dietitian, I am thrilled that so many restaurants are serving vegan options (“Vegan options plentiful,” Culture, Wednesday). This means more people have access to low-fat, fiber-rich, cholesterol-free foods - and that’s a good thing for America’s growing health care costs.

In 2007, the United States spent $174 billion on diabetes-related health care expenditures. However, a report in the May 2009 issue of Diabetes Care showed that those who avoid meat and dairy products have healthier weights and a lower risk of diabetes compared to meat eaters. The researchers found that 7.6 percent of meat eaters were diagnosed with diabetes, whereas just 2.9 percent of people who avoid animal products were diagnosed.

I’m glad more Americans are ordering vegetarian foods when they eat out. This healthy habit certainly could help turn around our country’s deteriorating health.

SUSAN LEVIN

Director of nutrition education

Physicians Committee for Responsible

Medicine

Washington

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