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Possible limitations include varying definitions used of vegetarianism, and the observation of increased risk of lung cancer mortality in those on a vegetarian diet for less than five years.A vegetarian diet which is poorly planned can lead to hyperhomocysteinemia and platelet disorders; this risk may be offset by ensuring sufficient consumption of vitamin B 12 and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

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These diets may be followed by those who reduce animal flesh consumed as a way of transitioning to a complete vegetarian diet or for health, ethical, environmental, or other reasons.

Semi-vegetarian diets include: On average, vegetarians consume a lower proportion of calories from fat (particularly saturated fatty acids), fewer overall calories, more fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, than do non-vegetarians.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Dietitians of Canada have stated that at all stages of life, a properly planned vegetarian diet is "healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provides health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases".

Vegetarian diets offer lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol and animal protein, and higher levels of carbohydrates, fibre, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals.

Vegetarians generally have a lower body mass index.

These characteristics and other lifestyle factors associated with a vegetarian diet may contribute to the positive health outcomes that have been identified among vegetarians.And, while each state has its own animal cruelty code, most states exempt common farming practices, no matter how abusive.” —The Humane Society of the United States "Many good reasons exist to moderate our eating habits to semivegetarian practice.These reasons should count with all of us, and we must decide for ourselves what sort of balance is possible in our own lives."Caged hens are a sad reality of modern-day farming.In fact, I don't think it can even be referred to as "farming" as we understand it, because everything about it is horrendous. " —Jamie Oliver “95 percent of the animals slaughtered each year do not receive protection under the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.The earliest occurrences of the term seem to be related to Alcott House, a school on the north side of Ham Common, London, opened in July 1838 by James Pierrepont Greaves.