Changes in intake of plant-based diets and weight change: results from 3 prospective cohort studies

Year Published: 2019


Am J Clin Nutr


Satija A, Malik V, Rimm EB, Sacks F, Willett W, Hu FB


This study examined three large cohort studies that included 126,982 adults to look at the effects of plant-based diets on weight gain. Diets were categorized into 3 variations, including overall, healthful (including nuts, legumes, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and vegetable oils), and unhealthful (refined grains, potatoes/fries, sweets) plant-based diets.

Key Findings

Key Findings: On average, participants gained between 0.9 and 1.98 kg over a 4-year interval. However, adherence to a healthy plant-based diet (that included nuts/legumes) was associated with 0.68 kg less weight gain over this time period. On the contrary, a less healthy plant-based diet was associated with 0.36 kg more weight gain. Authors conclude that intake of healthy plant foods are associated with improved health outcomes.