Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation Conducts Study on Bone Mineral Density



Feb. 18, 2011 – Researchers in the Southeast Missouri State University Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation are currently conducting a study of the effects of vegetarian diet on bone mineral density. 

Southeast graduate teaching assistant Yugandhar Arja is spearheading this study under the guidance of department chair Dr. Thomas Pujol to determine the influence of traditional western diet and vegetarian diet on bone mineral density of healthy individuals.

Arja is seeking healthy individuals, both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, to volunteer for the study.  Volunteers will not be required to participate in any physical activity in the study but will be asked to undergo a bone density scan and complete a three-day dietary recall.  The testing is open to all Southeast students, faculty and staff, as well as the public. 

Volunteers will learn about their measures and changes in body composition and bone mineral density in relation to their choice of diet, he said.

Individuals who are pregnant or currently breastfeeding may not participate in the testing. Similarly anyone undergoing chemotherapy or any radiation therapy will be excluded from the study.

Arja said he decided to begin this research after noticing the vast difference between the diets of most Americans and the primarily vegetarian diets of his homeland in India.

“I’ve been in the United States for almost 18 months now, and I noticed some intriguing differences prevalent among the various populations in terms of their dietary habits,” Arja said.  “I hope to infer the influence of traditional western diets comprising of meats compared to vegetarian diets on people’s bone mineral density. We will try to deduce how it affects bone health.”

For more information on the study or to volunteer for the testing, contact Yugandhar  Arja at