Comparative Assessment of Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian Diets with Physical Fitness on Body Composition and Lipid Profiles among Students at School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University
Asian Journal of Medicine and Health,
Background: Overweight and obesity are significant health problems all over the world in all ages.
Objective: To compare the effect of vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets with physical fitness on body composition and lipid profiles of students at Addis Ababa University, College of Health Sciences.
Methodology: A comparative cross-sectional study design was carried out on 75 study participants (males= 41 and females=34) with age range of 19-29: mean 24.6 ± 7.23 years. The data were collected twice after participants consumed vegetarian (V) and non-vegetarian (NV) diets for 7-weeks each. After each dietary habit, a structured questionnaire was used to obtain socio-demographic, dietary habits and general health of the participants. Following this, anthropometric measurements were taken. Percentage of body fat (%BF) was determined using skinfold caliper at: abdomen, suprailiac region and triceps. VO2 max (maximum oxygen uptake) was estimated by Queen’s College Step Test (QCT).
Results: Compared to a non-vegetarian diet, a vegetarian diet consumption was significantly associated with lower body weight, BMI, %BF, and FM (fat mass) (P<0.05). However, height, waist/hip ratio, blood pressure, and fat-free mass did not significantly differ between the two diet groups. As compared to non-vegetarian diet, vegetarian diet had significantly higher HDL-C and lower TC and TC/HDL-C values. VO2 max was significantly higher in males than in females (P<0.05) in both dietary patterns.
Conclusion: The use of vegetarian diet for at least 7-weeks was associated with optimal body composition and lipid profiles when compared to non-vegetarian diet consumption in healthy individuals.
- lipid profiles
- body composition
- VO2 max
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