Vegetarian Diet Emerges as Weight-Loss Tool in New Year
A pledge to lose weight may be the most common New Year’s resolution. Such resolutions often fail because people try ineffective and dangerous fad diets. But this December and January, newspapers and magazines carried some important news: Going vegetarian is a proven way to shed unwanted pounds, according to a recent PCRM study published in The American Journal of Medicine.
The study, which received widespread media coverage, showed that a low-fat, plant-based diet is more effective at helping women lose weight than an omnivorous diet.
“The study participants following the vegetarian diet enjoyed unlimited servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other healthful foods that enabled them to lose weight without feeling hungry,” says PCRM President Neal Barnard, M.D., the study’s lead author. “Anyone who wants to make healthy changes in 2006 will do well to try a plant-based diet.”
Other scientific studies support the obesity-fighting power of plant-based diets. In a recent study of more than 55,000 Swedish women, Tufts University researcher P. Kirstin Newby and her colleagues found that 40 percent of meat-eaters were overweight or obese, while only 25 to 29 percent of vegetarians and vegans were. Worldwide, vegetarian populations have low rates of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
PCRM offers a free Vegetarian Starter Kit, which includes recipes, nutrition information, and a three-step plan for moving to a healthier diet. The kit is available online at www.GoVegetarian.org.