Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Plant-Based Diet May Be Good for Controlling Weight

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Plant-Based Diet May Be Good for Controlling Weight

Article excerpt

Consuming more plant foods and fewer animal products may help individuals control their weight, according to a new study.

The study was led by nutritional epidemiologist P. K. Newby at the Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and Alicja Wolk at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

The researchers examined the health records of more than 55,000 healthy women participating in the Swedish Mammography Cohort. They looked at the body mass index (BMI) of the following groups:

* semi-vegetarians, who eat some meat, dairy products, and eggs lacto-vegetarians, who consume milk but not meat or eggs

* vegans, who consume no animal products

* omnivores, who eat all foods

BMI is a common measurement used to determine whether a person is at a healthy weight, overweight, or obese. A BMI of 18.5 to 25 refers to a healthy weight, a BMI of 25 up to 30 refers to overweight, and a BMI of 30 or higher refers to obesity.

All of the vegetarian women had a lower risk of being overweight or obese compared with the omnivorous women. Specifically, the prevalence of overweight or obesity (BMI over 25) was 40 percent among omnivores, 29 percent among both semi-vegetarians and vegans, and 25 percent among lacto-vegetarians. …

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