Infographic: Eat Your Greens How Vegetarians Get It Wrong

This infographic entitled "Eat Your Greens - How Vegetarians Get It Wrong" points out that there are 7.3 million vegetarians in the United States, of whom 29% are overweight.   Although this infographic does not cite sources, the 29% percent figure is familiar.

In an observational study, researchers compared the weight and BMI of 55,459 women who identified themselves as either omnivores, semi-vegetarians, lacto-vegetarians or vegans.  For purposes of this study:

An omnivore was defined as someone whose diet included meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products.

A semi-vegetarian was defined as eating no meat or poultry but whose diet included fish, eggs and dairy products.

A lacto-vegetarian was defined as eating no meat, poultry, fish or eggs but whose diet included dairy products.

A vegan was defined as someone who did not eat any meat, poultry, fish, eggs or dairy products.
The results of the study showed that the average weight, BMI, and rate of being overweight or obese was highest among omnivores.  Specifically, 40% of the omnivores were overweight or obese compared to 29% of the semi-vegetarians and vegans and 25% of the lacto-vegetarians.

The study concluded that the women who are semi-vegetarian, lacto-vegetarian or vegan are less likely to be overweight or obese than their omnivore counterparts.  The researchers suggested that it would help individuals control their weight if they were to consume more plant foods and less animal products.

So, it would seem that adopting a vegetarian or vegan does, indeed, help in losing and controlling weight.  Unfortunately, some vegetarians and vegans (while avoiding animal products) nevertheless eat a lot of veg(etari)an processed, snack and junk food.  This is why a whole food, plant-based diet is recommended - not just for weight loss but for optimal health.

Infographic Source:  Eagle Barber
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