New research, conducted on 16,000 graduate students in Spain, shows that a diet that is greatly reduced in animal products , or excludes them entirely, could halve a person’s chances of becoming obese.
The participants in the study were tracked for ten years, from 1999 to 2009, and afterwards 584 of the participants were obese. At the beginning of the study, the participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire about their diets and the types of foods that they usually eat. These questionnaires gave participants more points for consuming plant foods, and deducted points for diets containing more animal based foods.
Once the study was completed, researched looked at the top 20% of people who consumed the most animal based foods and the top 20% of people who consumed the most plant based foods and compared the health outcomes. The researchers then found that the top 20% of people who consumed the most plant based foods were an astonishing 43% less likely to be obese than the top 20% of animal based food consumers.
“Our recommendation is to eat less meat,” said Prof Maira Bes-Rastrollo, an author of the study. “Don’t increase the consumption of animal foods. Prefer plant-based foods to animal foods.”
This study goes to show how adopting a vegetarian diet can significantly increase your chances of living a healthy life, and that governments should promote a vegetarian diet in order to improve the health of the population, as well as to increase animal welfare.