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            America’s
obesity epidemic is continuously rising. A report released by the Center for
Disease Control and Prevention showed that almost 40% of American adults and
20% of adolescents are obese – the highest it’s ever been (Gussone, 2017). People
become vegan for multiple reasons, such as moral beliefs, concerns about animal
welfare, the use of antibiotics and hormones, or health benefits; which is the
primary reason among people today. Becoming a vegan has become more popular and
accessible, due to year-round availability of fresh produce, more vegan dining
options, and the growing trend of plant-based diets. A vegan diet omits the
consumption or use of any products made from animals. Veganism is basically
hard-core vegetarianism (Nordqvist, 2017).

            A
2016 poll claims that around 2.5% of people living in the United States follow
a vegan lifestyle (Nordqvist, 2017). The vegan diet has recently become a fad,
sweeping the nation just like the low-carb diet did in the late 1990s and early
2000s. Veganism has been encouraged by the same health-conscious wave that drew
Americans to low-fat, vegetarian diets and organic foods. The idea of eating plant-based
foods is appealing, especially to environmentally conscious individuals because
large-scale meat production is a major source of greenhouse gases (CBS, 2011). It
is particularly interesting to learn about the health benefits of a vegan diet,
and whether it can help lower the obesity crisis that America faces.

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A vegan diet can be a nutritious choice
because it is low in saturated fats and high in nutrients. It can also have a positive
impact on an individual’s health. Across all three journal articles it is found
that adopting a vegan diet is associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease,
obesity, hypertension, and type II diabetes. However, while there are health
benefits, the studies reviewed state that the diet does present some potential
nutritional downfalls. For example, deficiencies in important vitamins and
minerals are possible health concerns that are associated with being vegan. All
in all, it appears clear that a vegan diet can be beneficial to an individual’s
health; however, appropriate supplements should be consumed for vitamins and
minerals that the individual may lack. 

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