Last week, researchers and medical professionals gathered in Washington for a summit on obesity called “The Weight of the Nation.” The topic was the rising incidence of obesity in the US. Some experts are calling this increase a national epidemic.
One of the things discussed at the summit was a study released in 2006 that named the vegetarian diet as one of the healthiest diets in the world.
As on article from InForum writes,
A five-year Oxford University study of 22,000 people, published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2006, found that those on a vegetarian or vegan diet gained the least weight. A review of 87 studies in Nutrition Reviews concluded that a vegetarian diet is highly effective for weight loss.”
Of course, most vegetarians already know that a diet based solely on plant foods is healthy. What the study (and the summit discussion) pointed out is that it’s also the best diet for fighting obesity.
Experts at the summit stated that the two leading dietary causes of obesity are animal fats and dairy products.
A vegetarian diet alone can eliminate a great many of the foods that are known to contribute to obesity.
The vegetarian diet also helps fight obesity because of it’s high plant and grain fiber content and it’s rich supply of anti-oxidants and vitamins. Of course, this is only if you’re eating a vegetarian diet that’s chock-full of fresh produce and whole grains, as opposed to one that is filled with processed foods and low on the fresh ones.
I think it’s great that the vegetarian diet is getting more and more attention and approval from the scientific and medical communities. It makes it that much easier to explain our choices to non-vegetarians and it will also make vegetarian options easier to find at restaurants and other venues.
If you’ve used the vegetarian diet to help you lose weight, I’d love to hear your success story!