Our data shows a progressive weight increase from a total vegetarian diet toward a non-vegetarian diet. For instance:

  • 55-year-old male and female vegans weigh about 30 pounds less than non-vegetarians of similar height.
  • Levels of cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome all had the same trend – the closer you are to being a vegetarian, the lower the health risk in these areas.
  • In the case of Type 2 diabetes, prevalence in vegans and lacto-ovo vegetarians was half that of non-vegetarians. This is even the case after controlling for socio-economic and lifestyle factors.

Although the results do not prove causation, they do suggest that possibility. Thus, it is interesting to examine the characteristics of vegans/vegetarians.

Other Vegetarian Comparison Findings

Compared to non-vegetarians, vegetarians and vegans:

  • Watched less television.
  • Slept more hours per night.
  • Consumed more fruits and vegetables.
  • Consumed less saturated fat.
  • Typically ate foods with a low glycemic index, such as beans, legumes and nuts.