Last updated on: 5/19/2011 | Author:

Joan Sabaté, MD, DrPH Biography

Professor of Nutrition and Medicine at Loma Linda University School of Public Health
Pro to the question "Should People Become Vegetarian?"

“Numerous studies show important and quantifiable benefits of the different components of vegetarian diets, namely the reduction of risk for many chronic diseases and the increase in longevity. Such evidence is derived from the study of vegetarians as well as other populations. While meat intake has been related to increased risk for a variety of chronic diseases, an abundant consumption of vegetables, fruits, cereals, nuts, and legumes has been independently related to a lower risk for several chronic degenerative diseases such as ischemic heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and many cancers. Also, frequency of consumption of plant foods has been identified as a factor for increased longevity in industrialized nations. Hence, foods of plant origin seem to be beneficial on their own merit for chronic-disease prevention. This is possibly more certain than the detrimental effects of meats.

Vegetarian diets, as any other diet pattern, have potential health risks, namely marginal intake of a few essential nutrients. However, from the public health viewpoint, the health benefits of a plant-based vegetarian diet far outweigh the potential risks.”

“The Public Health Risk-to-Benefit Ration of Vegetarian Diets – Changing Paradigms,” Vegetarian Nutrition, 2001

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor of Nutrition and Medicine, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, 1988-present
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Board for Paramount Farms, Apr. 2009-present
  • Member, editiorial board, Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2008-present
  • Chair, 5th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition, Mar. 6-8, 2008
  • Creator, McLean Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Environmental Nutrition, Loma Linda University, Oct. 2008-Present
  • Recipient, Distinguished Service Award for Leadership and Nutrition Research for the Health of Consumers, California Walnut Commission, Feb. 22, 2007
  • Recipient, Centennial Vanguard Award for Partnership and Commitment in Fulfillment of the Mission to Make Man Whole, Apr. 9, 2006
  • Study Director, “The Role of Almonds on Hemostatic and Inflammatory and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention,” May 2006-Dec. 2008
  • Study Director, “Diabetes and Wellness Outcomes Research for the Republic of the Marshall Islands,” Jan. 2005-Jan. 2008
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Board, California Walnut Commission, 2002-present
  • Study Director, “The Adventist Health Study – 2,” Jan. 2001-Dec. 2008
  • Chair, Department of Nutrition, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, 1997-present
  • Member, American Society for Nutrition, 1993-present
  • Staff Physician, Travessera Clinic, Catalonian Institute of Health (Barcelona, Spain), Jan. 1983-Jan. 1984
  • Instructor, Department of Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, July 1979-June 1982
  • DrPH, Loma Linda University, 1989
  • MD, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 1978
  • None found