Science feeds plants-based diets

ANA SERRA// Éric Úbeda Mompó, a journalist specialising in science communication, has presented his Master’s Thesis (TFM) “Science feeds plant-based diets”. This work, framed in the project “Study of fashions in food through the communicative ecosystem” (ESMODA-ECO RTI2018-099663-B-I00), aims to determine if the scientific evidence available so far endorses vegetarian and vegan diets.
Over the past few years, the number of people who choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet has remarkably increased. Among the main motivations there is ethics, respect for animals, the environment and health. However, there is still some rejection for this food style in Western societies.

The work of Éric Úbeda, presented at the Interuniversity Master’s Degree in History of Science and Scientific Communication, of the University of Valencia, delves into the scientific evidence that supports this type of diet. As Úbeda explains, there is an alarming absence of newspaper articles that gather scientific evidence in this area. Thus, as he has been able to verify, there are enough studies that show that vegan or vegetarian diets are healthy and, a priori, do not have nutritional deficits. The only consideration to follow is the intake of vitamin B12 supplements.
The article, that can be read here, offers a global view on vegetarianism and veganism, since it includes not only nutritional and dietary perspectives but also sociological ones. Thus, the perspective of personal motivations to follow this type of diets (ecology, health) opens the door to future research. As the author explains in his Master’s thesis, further research is needed to determine whether the existing scientific evidence proves that a vegan or vegetarian diet is greener than a diet that includes animal derivatives.

Más información sobre el proyecto ESMODA-ECO

Images and infographics: Éric Úbeda Mompó

Translation. Amaia Crespo