Vegetarian Diets and Weight Status


Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 51000 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20016; Phone: 202–686–2210, ext. 303; Fax: 202–686–2216; E-mail:


The increasing global health problems of overweight and obesity are associated with coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and certain cancers, among other health concerns. Vegetarian diets are associated with reduced body weight, lower incidence of certain chronic disease, and lower medical costs compared with non-vegetarian diets. We reviewed the literature to ascertain the extent to which and by what mechanism(s) a plant-based diet may mediate body weight.