French women, move over. Some new gals are going to be the talk of the town for their ability to stay slim.
According to a study published in the June 2005 online edition of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who follow a vegetarian diet are significantly less likely to gain weight than women who eat meat. After examining more than 55,000 healthy women participating in the ongoing Swedish mammography cohort, scientists determined that the prevalence of obesity and overweight was 40% among omnivores; 29% among vegans (i.e., those who ate no meat, eggs or dairy products) and semivegetarians; and 25% among lactovegetarians (i.e., those who ate dairy products but no meat or eggs).
The bottom line: “Even if vegetarians consume some animal products, our results suggest that self-identified semivegetarian, lactovegetarian and vegan women have a lower risk of overweight and obesity than do omnivorous women,” said the researchers. “The advice to consume more plant foods and less animal products may help individuals control their weight.”