New Study Finds Vegans Are Often Slimmer Than Meat Eaters

Young, thin, and cheerful woman eating healthy salad in the kitchen at home.
RossHelen/Bigstock

The new study looked at nearly 9,000 people to determine their findings.

Looking for another convincing reason to make the plant-based plunge? Being vegan or vegetarian correlates with a lower body mass index (BMI) according to a new study from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) in cooperation with the University Hospital of Leipzig that looked at almost 9,000 people.

The research, published under the mouthful title, Less Animal-Based Food, Better Weight Status: Associations of the Restriction of Animal-Based Product Intake with Body-Mass-Index, Depressive Symptoms and Personality in the General Population, in the journal Nutrients, determined that the lower proportion of animal food in a person’s diet, the lower their average BMI, which corresponds with a lower body weight.

Scientists hypothesize this could be because vegans and vegetarians eat less heavily processed foods. “Products that are excessively rich in fat and sugar are particularly fattening. They stimulate the appetite and delay the feeling of satiety. If you avoid animal foods, you consume fewer such products on average,” said study author Evelyn Medawar per Science Daily.

In addition to svelter figures, the research also concluded some interesting findings regarding those who adhere to a vegan or vegetarian diet and personality. Based on their sample, researchers found that those who eat mostly plant-based foods are more introverted than those who primarily eat animal products. “It is difficult to say what the reason for this is,” said another study author, Veronica Witte. “It could be because more introverted people tend to have more restrictive eating habits or because they are more socially segregated because of their eating habits.” 

Of course, the sample size of this study was relatively small and we all know that vegans and vegetarians come in all sorts of personality types. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to contemplate the concept of a “vegan personality.” If you ask us, that’s one that’s defined as caring, creative, and leading the world, one plate of crispy cauliflower tacos at a time.