Loma Linda University School of Public Health is engaged in the second large-scale study of the long-term health of Seventh-day Adventists: AHS-2 (Adventist Health Study -2). Initiated in 2002, the study gathered data from over 19,000 Adventists ranging in age between 30- and 112-years-old across the US and Canada. All participants filled out an extensive diet and lifestyle survey.

Some of the major topics being addressed in the study include:

  • determining which foods might help prevent chronic and progressive diseases
  • the impact of faith on health
  • the influence of nature and nurture on health (heredity versus lifestyle)

Results are preliminary, but there have been over 100 published studies of outcomes based on data from AHS-2. Researchers have looked at everything from bone fractures to feelings of happiness to the ability to read food labels.

Some of the initial reports indicate:

  • Vegetarians tend to weigh less, have less hypertension, and lead healthier lifestyles than non-vegetarians
  • Vitamin D levels in Adventists were impacted more by skin pigmentation than by vegetarian diets
  • When compared to Adventists of other races, African American Adventists are more likely to have type 2 diabetes, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure but less likely to have myocardial infarction, heart attacks, high cholesterol, emphysema and fibromyalgia.
  • Adventists who reported that the Sabbath made them feel calm and peaceful had better mental health

Other interesting findings include:

  • Eating more trans fat was associated with being in a worse mood (negative affect).1
  • Watching television more than two hours per day was related to problems with falling and staying asleep.2
  • There is a relationship between higher levels of physical activity and a reduced risk of wrist fracture 25 years later in women.3
  • Vegetarian women who ate comparatively high amounts of soy were at a higher risk of having elevated thyroid stimulating hormone levels.4

To read more about AHS-2 and other past and ongoing studies, click here:

  • Ford, P. A., Jaceldo-Siegl, K., Lee, J. W., & Tonstad, S. (2016). Trans fatty acid intake is related to emotional affect in the Adventist Health Study-2. Nutrition Research, 36(6), 509-517.
  • Serrano, S., Lee, J. W., Dehom, S., & Tonstad, S. (2014). Association of TV watching with sleep problems in a church-going population. Family and Community Health, 37(4), 279-287
  • Thorpe, D. L., Knutsen, S. F., Beeson, W. L., & Fraser, G. E. (2006). The effect of vigorous physical activity and risk of wrist fracture over 25 years in a low-risk survivor cohort. Journal of bone and mineral metabolism , 24 (6), 476-483.
  • Tonstad, S., Jaceldo-Siegl, K., Messina, M., Haddad, E., & Fraser, G. E. (2016). The association between soya consumption and serum thyroid-stimulating hormone concentrations in the Adventist Health Study-2. Public Health Nutrition , 19 (8), 1464-1470.