Identifying Vegetarians And Their Food Consumption
Three national surveys were conducted in Finland to determine the factors related to vegetarianism and characteristics of vegetarians, and to compare the consumption of certain food items among vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
Self-identified vegetarians comprise 3.3% of the total Finnish population. According to behavioral classification, 1.4% are pesco-lacto-ovo-vegetarians, .43% were vegans, lacto-vegetarians or lacto-ovo-vegetarians, and .18% were vegans or lacto-vegetarians. About 80% of the self-identified vegetarians did not follow an actual vegetarian diet, although they did consume smaller quantities of meat products.
Based on an analysis of the data collected, researchers concluded that some self-defined vegetarians do consume red meat, poultry, or fish, but they follow a healthier diet than non-vegetarians. Self-identification was overall found to be an inadequate indicator of the prevalence of vegetarianism.