Teenage vegetarianism: Beauty or the beast?

Anthony Worsley, Grace Skrzypiec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to examine the likely cognitive and social ideological influences associated with teenage vegetarianism. Two thousand adolescents (mean age 16 yeDAs) took part in a survey conducted in 52 South Australian schools. The data collected from two questionnaires was reduced in complexity by principal components analyses and the resulting factor scores examined via ANOVA which compared female Non-Vegetarians (NV) with Full and Semi Vegetarians (FSV). FSV exhibited more concern for the environment, animal welfare and gender equity than non vegetarians. In addition, and contrary to our initial hypotheses, FSV reported more concern about their appearance, greater use of TV programs for behavioural modelling, and greater prevalence of extreme weight loss behaviours. The findings suggest a possible developmental link between teenage vegetarianism and eating disorders which may be part of female adolescent identity development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-404
Number of pages14
JournalNutrition Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Dieting Behaviours
  • Social Attitudes
  • Survey
  • Vegetarianism


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