The first study of thousands of vegans is released. It compares their body mass index to that of vegetarians, flexitarians, and omnivores.
Thousands of Vegans Studied,
This is where we were in 1985—hardly any obesity. And then came the 90’s and we had to start adding whole new categories of obesity rates, and this is where we are today. The average American is now overweight, and 1 in 3 are medically obese.
It didn’t take long to go from this… to this. That’s what’s fueling our epidemic of type 2 diabetes in this country.
Over the last ten years diabetes rates have skyrocketed 90% in the United States, which means more dialysis, more gangrene, more blindness, and more amputations.
As a total nutritional science geek, I ate up this new study: “Which are the greatest discoveries in nutrition in the last 33 years.” Making the top 15 list was the discovery that diabetes can be prevented by diet and lifestyle.
So how do you prevent it? The first study in human history, of thousands of vegans, was just published in the journal of the American Diabetes Association. Thousands of U.S. vegans studied for the first time ever.
First, let’s compare weight. A BMI over 30 is considered obese, between 25 and 30 overweight, and they used to call under 25 “normal” weight, but it is no longer the norm. The average BMI in this country is now 28.8.
The first question is where do flexitarians fall? A “flexitarian” is a “flexible vegetarian,” meaning someone who eats meat once or twice a month, but is basically vegetarian. Where do they fall?
You’ve got three choices: Heavier than meat-eaters, lighter than meateaters, but still overweight, or, on average, not overweight at all?
Do you think they found flexitarians to be fatter than regular meateaters? Do you think those who only eat meat a few times a month are skinner than meateaters, but are still on average overweight? Or do you think if we cut down our meat consumption that low our weight should normalize?
This is America—even the flexitarians are overweight.
What about the full-time vegetarians, though? Same basic three choices: Do you think vegetarians turned out to fatter than flexitarians? Do you think those who don’t eat meat are skinner than those who do, but are still on average overweight? or do you think if you just cut out meat you’ll lose the excess fat?
This is America—even the vegetarians are overweight—but, they are a healthier weight than those who eat meat even only a few times a month.
You can see where the trend is going. What if those vegetarians cut out dairy and eggs? Would they lose enough weight to become the only dietary group in North America that’s actually not overweight. You tell me.
Do you think cutting out dairy and eggs makes you gain weight? Do you think it would make you lose, but not enough to make the cut-off? or do you think populations need to cut out meat and dairy and eggs to achieve a healthy weight?
This is America, and that means, only the vegans are, on average, a healthy weight. And that’s like a 40 pound spread between vegans and meateaters, which is pretty dramatic.
But maybe it’s not their diet; maybe vegans just tend to exercise more? No. They carefully measured activity levels, and if anything, the vegans in this study exercised less than the meateaters. Lazy vegans… but still on average 40 pounds lighter.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out theother videos on omnivores, flexitarians, vegetarians, and vegans. Also, there are1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!
For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Preventing and Treating Kidney Failure With Diet, Poultry and Penis Cancer, NutritionFacts.org: the first month, Boosting Gut Flora Without Probiotics,The Ice Diet, and Poultry Paunch: Meat & Weight Gain.