RESEARCH | Staff Reporter, Australia

Nearly 2.5 million Aussies now have a "largely vegetarian" diet: study

Young singles in Australia’s inner cities are the biggest proponents of vegetarianism.

Nearly 2.5 million Australians, equivalent to 12.1% of the population, now have diets of which the food is all, or almost all, vegetarian, according to a new study by Roy Morgan.

The latest numbers indicate a ‘slow but steady’ rise of vegetarianism in Australia, up from 2.2 million (11.2%) four years ago in 2014 and 1.7 million (9.7%) in 2012.

Roy Morgan says culturally-diverse young singles typically renting apartments in the inner city and inner suburbs and young families are the biggest proponents of vegetarianism.

“The recent protests by animal rights activists around Australia brought the focus of the Australian media back onto the issue of how Australia treats its animals. For many protesters, a key part of securing better treatment of animals is to practice and promote embracing vegetarianism – and the message is getting through to an increasing number of Australians,” Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine explained.

However, the rising level of vegetarianism in the country has yet to stop the increasing trend towards obesity. Now, 28.5% of Australians have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 30 and are classified as ‘Obese’, up 2.1% points from four years ago.

(Also read: Veganism is becoming more mainstream, and restaurant brands like Domino's, Zambrero and Lord of the Fries are taking it seriously)

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