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Athlete’s Attitude Problem Tromps His Vegetarianism

Another victim of meaty myths

Another victim of meaty myths

Let’s all shed a tear for athlete Colin Jackson, who told the BBC2’s The Truth About Food that his eight-week experimental vegetarian diet caused him to manage five less push-ups, complaining that he lost his power when he gave up his meat. (Perhaps his negative mentality right from the get-go — “I’m going to suffer because I’m a vegetarian!” — was a contributor to his poor performance?)

Jackson’s food regimen included crackers and crumpets — which many of us non-athletes lovingly refer to as a “junk-food diet.” As a London nutritionist recently wrote in her challenge to the BBC, an athlete like Jackson “might like to do a little more than eat porridge and mash.”


  1. Comment by


    on #

    why do people assume that if you don’t eat meat you can’t be strong and have muscles. I work out and I get comments all the time that vegetarians and vegans can’t gain muscle. Didn’t they watch popeye. I’m determined now more that ever to prove them all wrong.

  2. Comment by


    on #

    I don’t think all diets that include crackers and crumpets can be called “junk-food diet[s].” The nutritionist certainly has a point–these temporary veggies were not getting enough important nutrients–but that food list included many protein-rich options that the subjects chose not to eat (a voluntary response bias the BBC should’ve been more forthright in admitting). The most damning (and factually cloudy) part of this experiment, in my opinion, is not Meathead Jackson, but the results of six vegetarian women athletes who begrudgingly reported better physical fitness after eating meat. Read more here at the Guardian.

  3. Comment by


    on #

    I have been a veg since 9th grade- I was on the wieight team (I threw discuss and shot put for thr track and field team) when I made the change to a veg diet my muscle mass greatly improved because I started to eat better fats and proteins. Sure if you eat junk everyday being veg is not good for you, but if you pay attention to your fats and portein it DOES help. Sigh. What a moron.