Meat eaters who switch to a vegetarian diet gain less excess weight over time than those who do not change their diet. This conclusion was made by British scientists. The study was conducted as part of a cancer campaign – it is known that There is a direct link between obesity and cancer.
Scientists from the University of Oxford examined data on eating habits of 22 people collected in 1994-1999. Respondents had different diets – they were meat-eaters, fish-eaters, strict and non-strict vegetarians. They were weighed, body parameters were measured, their diet and lifestyle were studied. Approximately five years later, between 2000 and 2003, scientists reexamined the same people.
It turned out that each of them gained an average of 2 kg in weight during this time, but those who began to eat less food of animal origin or switched to a vegetarian diet gained approximately 0,5 kg of excess weight less. Professor Tim Key, who led the team of scientists, said that already It has long been known that vegetarians are usually leaner than meat eaters., but never before have studies been carried out over time.
He added: “It is generally accepted that a diet low in carbohydrates and high in protein promotes weight loss. But we found out that people who consume a lot of carbohydrates and little protein have less weight.
He also emphasized that those who get little physical activity gain weight. This confirms that the most effective way to prevent obesity is through a combination of a healthy diet and exercise.
Dr. Colin Wayne, president of the National Obesity Forum, commenting on the results of the study, warned: “Whatever your diet, if you consume more calories than you spend, you will gain weight.” He added that, despite the results of the study, vegetarianism is not a universal answer to problems with being overweight.
Ursula Ahrens, a spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, confirmed that a vegetarian diet will not help combat existing obesity. “A diet of chips and chocolate is also ‘vegetarian’, but has nothing to do with a healthy lifestyle and will not help you lose weight.” But still, she added, vegetarians typically eat more fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, which is good for health.
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