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Nutrition Column

Evidence a plant-based diet aids in preventing obesity

Vegetarians are less likely to gain weight and more likely to avoid obesity than omnivores.

In the June 2005 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, P. Kirstin Newby and her colleagues discovered that vegetarian women were less likely to gain weight than women who eat meat.

In the study, Newby et al. examined over 55,000 healthy women participating in the ongoing Swedish mammography cohort and found that the prevalence of obesity and overweight was 40% among omnivores; 29% among semi vegetarians and vegans(those who ate no meat, eggs, or dairy products); and 25% lactovegetarians (eg. those who ate dairy products but no meat or eggs).

Based on their findings, the authors concluded “even if vegetarians consume some animal products, our results suggest that self-semi vegetarian, lactovegetarian, and vegan women have a lower risk or overweight and obesity than do omnivorous women,” and “the advice to consume more plant foods and less animal products may help individuals control their weight.”

Whether for weight loss / maintenance or for disease prevention, eating a diet rich in vegetables will do nothing but benefit your health or your waistline

Written by Dr. Sternlicht for on 12.04.05