Vegan diets: review of nutrition and health benefits and risks

The growing popularity of vegetarian – and more specifically vegan – diets, the media controversy surrounding the publication of the report “Aspects sanitaires de la consommation de viande” (“Health aspects of meat consumption”) and the increasing number of scientific publications in this field have aroused significant interest amongst members of the Federal Commission for Nutrition (FCN), prompting them to update their 2007 report on “Alimentation végétarienne : avantages et désavantages” (“Vegetarian diets: advantages and disadvantages”).
However, this new report has gone beyond simply revising the original, instead redirecting its focus towards vegan diets in particular. On the one hand, it examines vegan diets in relation to various disorders and diseases (primarily non-communicable diseases) and their impact on mortality, while on the other hand it highlights the risks of certain nutrient deficiencies linked to this type of diet in different age groups.
The authors of this report have drawn from the pool of scientific knowledge currently available to provide interested readers and health experts with information on the risks and benefits of vegan diets, thus helping people in Switzerland to make an informed decision on their own diet.  

FCN - Report

The Federal Commission for Nutrition  

The Federal Commission for Nutrition (FCN) is an extra-parliamentary commission that acts in an advisory capacity. It prepares scientifically based opinions and expert reports in the field of nutrition or on the effect of nutrition on health for the Federal Council and for the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO). The commission is an internal body supporting the federal government and provides technical and scientific expertise in various topics concerned with nutrition.

The members of the commission include representatives from education and research in the field of nutritional sciences and food sciences, from nutritional medicine, the food industry and food trade, and consumer organisations.