Eastern Michigan graduate's weight management research reveals new findings for vegetarian diets

by Emily Vontom, Published November 07, 2011

Vegetarians have always been told that their diets lack important nutrients. However, new research from recent Eastern Michigan University graduate Bonnie Farmer dispels those myths.

Farmer's research, which was published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, examined vegetarian diets and weight management. She analyzed data from the Center for Disease Control's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999-2004) that involved 13,292 adults aged 19 and older.

Her findings were surprising. Farmer found that:

  • Vegetarians have higher mean intakes of fiber, vitamins A, C, and E, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, calcium, magnesium and iron than do nonvegetarians
  • Despite having higher levels of magnesium and vitamins E and A, the levels for both groups are less than desired
  • The Healthy Index Eating score, a way to measure the conformity of dietary quality in accordance with federal dietary guidelines, was the same for both vegetarians and nonvegetarians
  • Vegetarian diets can be safely recommended for weight management without concern for deficiencies

Farmer is currently a registered dietician for PlantWise Nutrition Consulting in Plainwell, Mich. Other researchers included Brian T. Larson, PhD, Victor L. Fulgoni III, PhD. and Eastern professors Alice J. Rainville, PhD. and George U. Liepa, PhD.

Farmer's article, A Vegetarian Dietary Pattern as a Nutrient-Dense Approach to Weight Management: As Analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2004 appeared in the June 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.


Emily Vontom

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