According to Sabaté and Wien,
“Epidemiologic studies indicate that vegetarian diets are associated with a lower BMI and a lower prevalence of obesity in adults and children.
A meta-analysis of adult vegetarian diet studies estimated a reduced weight difference of 7.6 kg for men and 3.3 kg for women, which resulted in a 2-point lower BMI.
Similarly, compared with nonvegetarians, vegetarian children are leaner, and their BMI difference becomes greater during adolescence.
Studies exploring the risk of overweight and food groups and dietary patterns indicate that a plant-based diet seems to be a sensible approach for the prevention of obesity in children.
Plant-based diets are low in energy density and high in complex carbohydrate, fiber, and water, which may increase satiety and resting energy expenditure.”
The authors conclude that plant-based dietary patterns should be encouraged for optimal health.
📖Sabaté J, Wien M. Vegetarian diets and childhood obesity prevention. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91(5):1525S–1529S. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.2010.28701F. [PubMed]
📖Tuso P et al, Nutritional Update for Physcians: Plant-Based Diets, Perm J. 2013 Spring; 17(2): 61–66.