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Plant-based diet best to beat obesity: study

By Jane Kirby

Eating a diet rich in fruit and veg while cutting down on meat substantially lowers the risk of obesity, research shows.

People who eat around double the amount of fruit and vegetables, grains, pulses, olive oil and who enjoy potatoes, end up slimmer than those who prefer a diet heavy in meat, eggs, dairy and animal fats.

The study, presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Porto, Portugal, examined data for 16,181 people who were not obese at the start of the research.

Over the course of 10 years, 584 people became obese.

Analysis showed that people who most closely adhered to a plant-based diet were 43% less likely to become obese than those at the bottom, who ate much more meat, dairy and fewer vegetables and fruit.

Professor Maira Bes-Rastrollo, from the University of Navarra in Spain, who presented the study, said plant-based foods contained more fibre and helped people feel fuller for longer.

The academic added: "Our study suggests that plant-based diets are associated with substantially lower risk of developing obesity."

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