One of the most interesting and informative group lifestyles to look at when it comes to health and nutrition is that of the Seventh-Day Adventists. As a religious group they have very strong dietary guidelines. They live in tight knit communities and the vast majority of them stick to these lifestyle and dietary guidelines day in and day out for years. This makes them a very useful group to study in order to evaluate the effects of their practices on their health individually and as a group.
The scientific community has studied them in particular because they live a whopping 10 years longer than the average American life expectancy of 79 years and they do not suffer from a number of the chronic diseases that plague most Americans today! There is a large community of Seventh-Day Adventists who live in Loma Linda, California.
Loma Linda University, which is a university owned and managed by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, has been doing research on the health of over 96,000 of their members for decades and the results are very interesting. The Loma Linda University Health System includes eight professional schools and six hospitals. Their research is highly regarded and informative. The Seventh-Day Adventists believe that their body is the temple of God and “God calls us to care for our bodies, treating them with the respect a divine creation deserves”. They are encouraged to eat a vegetarian diet and to avoid tobacco, coffee, alcohol and to make a regular exercise program part of their lifestyle. Below are a few useful links to research completed by the Loma Linda University Health System:
Generally speaking it is clear that the closer to a vegetarian diet one can adhere the healthier and more long lived you will be. The research proves this time and again. What I find interesting is that the research sited above discusses various types of vegetarianism and how each of those dietary approaches affects your health over time . . . . over a lifetime.