Want to Lose Weight the Easy Way?

A November 2018 study 1 of 9633 middle-aged and elderly individuals looked at their levels of adiposity (how fat they were) and compared the results with data collected over a period of 27 years on what foods they ate. The results are pretty clear.

Study method

Dietary data was collected using food-frequency questionnaires. Plant-based were given a positive score and animal-based foods were given a negative score. Thus, a higher score reflected a more plant-based diet.

Data on anthropometrics 2  and body composition was collected every 3 to 5 years from 1989 to 2016.

The results were then analysed by the research team to see if there were any clear indications of which dietary choice favoured becoming overweight.

Study results

Increased adherence to plant-based diets was associated with the following:

  • lower BMI
  • smaller waist circumference
  • lower fat mass index
  • lower body fat percentage

Study conclusion

In this population-based cohort of middle-aged and elderly participants, a higher adherence to a more plant-based, less animal-based diet was associated with less adiposity over time, irrespective of general healthfulness of the specific plant- and animal-based foods.

Final comment

It’s interesting that these results are irrespective of the healthfulness of the plant- and animal-based foods. What’s clear to me is that there are a fair number of overweight vegetarians and vegans, but I’ve yet to see any overweight individuals who consumed a non-SOS WFPB diet. However, for those of us who are not quite ready to stick to eating the latter, it’s reassuring to know that all we have to do to lose those extra (and health-damaging) kilograms of fat is to eat more plant foods and less animal foods.


  1. Epidemiology. 2018 Nov 30. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000961. Plant-based diet and adiposity over time in a middle-aged and elderly population: the Rotterdam Study. Chen Z, Schoufour JD, Rivadeneira F, Lamballais S, Ikram MA, Franco OH, Voortman T. []
  2. Anthropometry refers to the measurement of the human individual. An early tool of physical anthropology, it has been used for identification, for the purposes of understanding human physical variation. []

Plant-based Diets & Diabetes

A study from the Netherlands has just been published 1 which continues to pile up the evidence that plant-based diets help to prevent diabetes, while animal-based diets do quite the opposite.

The researchers start from the suggestion that vegan/vegetarian diets are claimed as being useful in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). But they consider that not enough is still not known about whether replacing an animal-based with a plant-based diet may be beneficial for prevention of T2D.

To establish this, they looked at data from the original 1991 prospective cohort Rotterdam Study 2 as well as from the subsequent follow-ups 3 and investigated whether: “…levels of adherence to a diet high in plant-based foods and low in animal-based foods is associated with insulin resistance, prediabetes, and T2D“.

There were 6798 participants in this prospective population-based cohort study in the Netherlands. They collected dietary intake data via questionnaires. Information on insulin resistance was derived from homeostasis models (HOMA-IR), and both prediabetes and T2D data were collected from general practitioners’ records, pharmacies’ databases, and from follow-up examinations in their research centre until 2012.

During the 5.7 and 7.3 years of follow-up, they documented 928 prediabetes cases and 642 T2D cases.

After they adjusted for sociodemographic/lifestyle factors, they found that a plant-based diet was associated with the following:

  • lower risk of prediabetes 
  • significantly lower risk of insulin resistance
  • significantly lower risk of developing T2D

They concluded that: “…a more plant-based and less animal-based diet may lower risk of insulin resistance, prediabetes and T2D.

In addition, they consider that their findings strengthen recent dietary recommendations for populations to adopt a more plant-based diet.

Final thought

Although we’ve already looked at aspects of diabetes in relation to diet 4 5 , I think it’s always worth mentioning new research in this area as it appears – invariably, it seems, appearing to be in favour of the plant-based and against meat-based diets.

And this isn’t just a matter of what you see – it’s also what you don’t see: you don’t see research stating the opposite!

Indeed, instead of peer-reviewed published research data,  all we really get is Paleo Propaganda…


Where’s the beef?!


  1. Eur J Epidemiol. 2018 Jun 8. doi: 10.1007/s10654-018-0414-8. Plant versus animal based diets and insulin resistance, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes: the Rotterdam Study. Chen Z, Zuurmond MG, van der Schaft N, Nano J, Wijnhoven HAH, Ikram MA, Franco OH, Voortman T. []
  2. European Journal of Epidemiology. July 1991, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 403–422. Determinants of disease and disability in the elderly: The Rotterdam elderly study. A. HofmanD. E. GrobbeeP. T. V. M. De JongF. A. Van den Ouweland. []
  3. Rotterdam Study []
  4. Low-Fat Plant-Based Diets Help to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes []
  5. Diabetes – The Medical Facts. WARNING – Disturbing Images []