The Global Influence of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Diet
2. Church Mission and Structure
2.1. Theology and Health Message
- “Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator” (p. 296).
- “There is more religion in a good loaf of bread than many people think” (p. 302).
- “A disordered stomach produces a disordered mind” (p. 310).
- “When it comes to diet, one person cannot lay down an exact rule for another” (p. 310).
The health reform is as closely related to the third angel’s message as the arm to the body; but the arm cannot take the place of the body. The proclamation of the third angel’s message, the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus, is the burden of our work. The message is to be proclaimed with a loud cry, and is to go to the whole world. The presentation of health principles must be united with this message, but must not in any case be independent of it, or in any way take the place of it. Page 75.1.
2.2. Church Structure
2.2.1. Membership and Church Institutions
2.2.2. Adventist Healthcare
The sanitarium is a product of modern medical progress… The central and fundamental idea in such a place should be the thought that health-getting is not a matter of magic nor of pill-swallowing, but, rather, a matter of education. …. A sanitarium must provide food prepared in such a manner as to be both wholesome and palatable, tempting to the patient whose appetite is perverted and fickle, and at the same time easy of digestion and highly nourishing.
2.2.4. SDA Education
At Loma Linda many can be educated to work as missionaries in the cause of health and temperance... That which is of the most importance is that the students be taught how to represent aright the principles of health reform.
2.2.5. SDA Churches
In the Far East, Africa, the Middle East, North, Central, and South America, Europe, Australia, and the islands of the Pacific, Vegetarian Nutrition instructors are directing schools of health, cooking schools, and helpful classes of many kinds. With new programs for the home, the church, and the community, the church is acknowledging the truth of Ellen G. White’s statement: “To teach … the science of healthful living is to do missionary work for the Master.”—Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 476.
2.2.6. SDA Humanitarian Outreach
3. SDA Food Industry, Research, and policy
3.1. Food Industry
3.1.1. Breakfast Cereals
3.1.2. Meat Analogues
3.1.3. Soy Foods
3.1.4. Wheat Gluten
3.1.5. Peanut Butter
3.1.6. SDA-Operated Food Organizations
3.2.1. Adventist Health Studies
- The studies describe mortality and experience of major non-communicable disease among Adventists.
- Adventists have lower overall mortality, incidence of cardiovascular disease, and also many cancers.
- Among Adventists, different vegetarian categories (vegans, lacto-ovo-, pesco-vegetarians) are defined and their dietary characteristics described.
- Vegetarian Adventists have less hypertension, lower blood lipids and C-reactive protein (CRP—associated with inflammation), less diabetes, and lower body mass index (BMI) values, when compared to Adventist non-vegetarians.
- Vegetarian Adventists have less cardiovascular disease, lower rates of colorectal cancer, and vegans especially have lower rates of prostate, and probably breast cancer, than non-vegetarian Adventists.
- Adventists in California live 7.3 years (men) and 4.4 years (women) longer than non-Adventist California men and women, adjusting for educational differences.
- Red meat eaters have higher rates of colon cancer.
- Higher nut consumption is associated with much lower risk of coronary heart disease.
- Those drinking more dairy milk have lower rates of colon and rectal cancers (but preliminary findings suggest increased risk of breast and prostate cancers).
- Independent of fats in the diet, proteins from red meat are associated with higher, and proteins from nuts and seeds with lower, risk of cardiovascular mortality.
- A good breakfast and avoiding calories later in the day are associated with lower body weight with aging.
- Adventists tend to move toward more vegetarian diets as they age.
- Higher tomato consumption is associated with lower rates of prostate and ovarian cancers.
- Confirmed the apparent helpful effects of regular physical activity and adequate protein intake to prevent common bone fractures.
- Found that overweight is associated with increased mortality through to old age.
- Air pollution is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma and total mortality.
3.2.2. Biopsychosocial Religion and Health Study (BRHS)
3.2.3. Vegetarianism and Environment
3.2.4. Research Activity outside of the Unites States
3.3.1. Dietetics Associations
It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage. Vegetarians and vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity. Low intake of saturated fat and high intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy products, nuts, and seeds (all rich in fiber and phytochemicals) are characteristics of vegetarian and vegan diets that produce lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and better serum glucose control. These factors contribute to reduction of chronic disease. Vegans need reliable sources of vitamin B-12, such as fortified foods or supplements.
3.3.2. International Vegetarian Congress
Conflicts of Interest
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|Administrative Region||Estimated Population||SDA Members||SDA Churches||Academy/High School||College/University||Hospitals/Sanitariums|
|East-Central Africa Division||393,340,000||3,650,375||15,319||26||6||9|
|Southern African-Indian Ocean Division||203,722,000||3,779,368||11,110||26||5||10|
|South American Division||340,556,000||2,502,153||13,324||223||13||17|
|Southern Asia Division||1,383,186,000||1,595,382||4521||72||8||10|
|Southern Asia-Pacific Division||1,029,370,000||1,442,678||7395||61||15||18|
|North American Division||362,581,000||1,243,316||5530||116||11||58|
|Northern Asia-Pacific Division||1,625,230,000||721,424||2195||14||6||11|
|West-Central Africa Division||423,512,000||746,467||4218||0||3||21|
|South Pacific Division||40,515,000||498,275||2114||40||4||2|
|Attached to the General Conference|
|Middle East and North African Union Mission||548,207,000||3983||53||1||1||0|
|California, USA||Loma Linda University||PhD in Nutrition||https://publichealth.llu.edu/academics|
|MPH in Nutrition||https://publichealth.llu.edu/academics|
|BS and MS in Nutrition and Dietetics||https://alliedhealth.llu.edu/academics|
|Michigan, USA||Andrews University||B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics||https://www.andrews.edu/shp/publichealth/|
|MPH Nutrition and Wellness|
|Alabama, USA||Oakwood University||A.S. in Dietetics||https://www2.oakwood.edu/|
|Nairobi, Kenya||Adventist University of Africa||MPH with concentration in nutrition||https://www.aua.ac.ke/|
|Ilisan-Remo, Nigeria||Babcock University||B Sc. (Hons) Nutrition and Dietetics||https://www.babcock.edu.ng/bu_sch_med.php|
|Bulawayo, Zimbabwe||Solusi University||BSc Food and Nutrition||http://solusi.ac.zw/|
|Seoul, South Korea||Sahmyook University||BS Food and Nutrition||https://www.syu.ac.kr/web/eng/academics_a_03_03|
|Silang, Cavite, Philippines||Adventist University of the Philippines||BS in Nutrition and Dietetics||http://web1.aup.edu.ph/|
|Silang, Cavite, Philippines||Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies||MPH emphasis in nutrition||https://www.aiias.edu/en/academics|
|Kingston, Jamaica||Northern Caribbean University||BS in Dietetics||http://www.ncu.edu.jm/academic-programmes.html|
|Nuevo León, Mexico||University of Montemorelos||BS in Nutrition||http://www.um.edu.mx/|
|Entre Ríos, Argentina||Adventist University of the Plata||BS in Nutrition||http://www.uap.edu.ar/|
|Lima, Peru||Peruvian Union University||MS in Vegetarian Nutrition|
|São Paulo, Brazil||Adventist University Centre of São Paulo||BS in Nutrition||http://www.unasp.br|
|Name||Year Established||Location||Web Page|
|South Pacific Division|
|Health Food Department||1898||Wahroonga, Australia||-----|
|Bioherba Health Food Company||1899; reorganized 2008||Heimertingen; Germany||www.bergland.de|
|South American Division|
|Argentina Food Factory||1938||Buenos Aires; Argentina||www.granix.com.ar|
|Baradero Plant||1984||Buenos Aires; Argentina||----|
|Campana Plant||2011||Buenos Aires; Argentina||----|
|Argentina Restaurant||1981||Buenos Aires; Argentina||----|
|Brazil Food Factory||1936; reorganized 1984||Sao Paulo, Brazil||www.superbom.com.br|
|Lebon Regis Plant||----||Lebon Regis, Brazil||www.superbom.com.br|
|Sao Paulo Plant||----||Sao Paulo, Brazil||www.superbom.com.br|
|Ecuador Food Factory||2016, independently||Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, Ecuador||www.alimentoscade.com|
|Northern Asia-Pacific Division|
|Korean Sahmyook Food||1978||Choongnam, Korea||www.sahmyook.co.kr|
|Korean Sahmyook Food Bonghwa Factory||1994||Kyungbuk, Korea||-----|
|Korean Sahmyook Food Unju Factory||1994||Jeonbuk, Korea||www.sahmyook.co.kr|
|San-Iku Food Company||1987||Chiba, Japan||www.san-iku.co.jp|
|San-Iku Foods||1970||Chiba, Japan||www.san-iku.co.jp|
|San-iku Vegetus Company||1998||Chiba, Japan||www.vegetus.jp|
|Inter-American Health Food Company||1977||Miami, Florida||www.interamerica.org|
|Alimentos Colpac—Mexico||1969||Sonora, Mexico||www.colpac.com.mx|
|Caribbean Health Foods Limited—Trinidad||1987||Port of Spain, Trinidad; Trinidad and Tobago||caribbeanhealthfoods.com|
|Cetebedi, S.A.—Costa Rica||1967||Alajuela, Costa Rica||www.soyapac.com|
|Colombia Branches (Productos Icolpan)||1972||Medellin; Colombia||www.icolpan.com|
|Industrias Venepan—Venezuela||1998||Yaracuy; Venezuela||www.venepan.com|
|Productos Granix—Dominican Republic||-----||Bonao; Dominican Republic||-----|
|Viva Mejor—Barquisimeto||-----||Edo. Lara; Venezuela||-----|
|Viva Mejor—Bogota||2014||Bogota; Colombia||[email protected]|
|Middle East and North Africa Union Mission|
|Adventist Health Education Foundation||1976||Cairo, Egypt||-----|
|Country||Summary of Findings||References|
|Australia||The Adventist Minister’s Health Study (survey and clinical data from 340 ministers) found that a majority of lacto-ovo vegetarians and vegans not taking supplements had low levels of vitamin B-12.||(Hokin and Butler 1999 )|
|Brazil||Survey and blood pressure measurement of 264 Adventists in Brazil found Adventists had lower hypertension compared to other Brazilian studies, those in Sao Paulo had lowest blood pressure.||(Silva et al. 2012)|
|Denmark||Following 11,580 Adventists and Baptists using national cancer registry, the Danish Religious Societies Health Study found that Adventists had lower cancer incidence compared to Baptists and the general population.||(Christiansen et al. 2015; Jensen 1983; Thygesen et al. 2012a)|
|Finland||Examination of lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet on dental health measures, such as erosions and salivary composition. Low sugar diet associated with fewer dental caries.||(Linkosalo 1988 )|
|Jamaica||A survey of 890 women found that Adventists in rural Jamaica had lower BMI compared to other Protestants.||(Bryan et al. 2012)|
|New Zealand||Survey data from 141 Adventists and clinical measures on a sample of 47 found that both non-vegetarian and vegetarian Seventh-day Adventists had better health measures than the average New Zealander and satisfactory iron and vitamin B12 status.||(Harman and Parnell 1998; McAnulty and Scragg 1996)|
|Nigeria||Chemical analysis of meals served at Babcock University for 210 students. Only females met 100% of recommended protein intake. Meal skipping was main contributor to inadequate macronutrient consumption.||(Ngozi et al. 2017)|
|Norway||Survey and clinical measures from the Norwegian Cardiovascular Disease Studies and Tromsø Heart Study found that Adventists following the recommended lifestyle had lower coronary risk factors compared to non-compliant and former Adventists.||(Fonnebo 1985; Fonnebo and Helseth 1991; Fonnebo 1992a, 1992b)|
|Poland||A. Follow-up on 236 Adventists found greater life expectancy compared to the general population. B. Survey of males in the Warsaw assembly found they closely followed the national recommended healthy diet guidelines.||(Jedrychowski et al. 1985; Słociak and Bartnikowska 2008).|
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Banta, J.E.; Lee, J.W.; Hodgkin, G.; Yi, Z.; Fanica, A.; Sabate, J. The Global Influence of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Diet. Religions 2018, 9, 251. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090251
Banta JE, Lee JW, Hodgkin G, Yi Z, Fanica A, Sabate J. The Global Influence of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Diet. Religions. 2018; 9(9):251. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090251Chicago/Turabian Style
Banta, Jim E., Jerry W. Lee, Georgia Hodgkin, Zane Yi, Andrea Fanica, and Joan Sabate. 2018. "The Global Influence of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Diet" Religions 9, no. 9: 251. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090251