written/translated by: Carla Van de Velde / Georgia Blackwell
Drop the Meat and Lose the Kilos
Results from a study published in March showed that switching to a meat-free diet keeps your weight down. Scientists
for Cancer Research UK who studied the eating habits of 22,000 people – meat and fish eaters, vegetarians and
vegans - over 5 years, found they all put on a few kilos. However, the weight gain was less in carnivores who switched
to a vegetarian diet.
The 22,000 people were recruited to the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) and were
examined between 1994 and 1999 by a team, led by Professor Tim Key of Oxford University. They were measured and weighed
and asked to give details on their diet and lifestyle. The team then followed up on their “quarry” 5 years
later (between 2000 and 2003) and asked them the same questions. They found that everyone had gained an average of
about 2 kilos. Those who had switched to a vegetarian diet, however, had gained around 0.5 kg less, with people on a
dairy-free vegan diet putting on the least weight.
Professor Key said that it had been known for some time that vegetarians and vegans tended to be slimmer than meat
eaters but they had never been followed over a number of years. He also stated that the results go against the current
popular view that a diet low in carbohydrates and high in proteins keeps your weight down because the lowest weight
gain came in people with high intakes of carbohydrate and low intake of protein.
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