Thinking of going vegan? Study shows it helps prevent obesity

Veganism may seem like a bit of a fad, enjoyed by tanned travel Instagrammers who never seem to have a problem picking a raw coconut over a slice of pepperoni pizza.

There has been quite a lot of debate over the lifestyle choice, with some feeling it truly is the best way to nourish your body, and others feeling that cutting out so many aspects of the food pyramid isn't right. 

Now, a new study has shown that people who eat a plant-based diet end up slimmer than those who prefer a diet heavy in meat, eggs, dairy and animal fats.

Those who consume lots of fruit and vegetables, grains, pulses, olive oil and who enjoy potatoes (in all their glorious forms) have a significantly lower chance of becoming obese in the long run, which kind of proves what we've all known for eternity, that fruits and veggies are some of the healthiest foods out there. 

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

The subjects were tested on their diets, and those with diets where animal by-products were consumed were more likely to become obese than those who maintained the plant-based diet over 10 years. 

'Our study suggests that plant-based diets are associated with substantially lower risk of developing obesity,' said Professor Maira Bes-Rastrollo, from the University of Navarra in Spain, who presented the study.

'This supports current recommendations to shift to diets rich in plant foods, with lower intake of animal foods.'

However, the chairman of the National Obesity Forum Tam Fry did not condone removing all forms of animal by-products from the diet.

'Clearly you shouldn't cut out unprocessed food such as fresh meat, diary or fish entirely but, as the research student suggests, keep them in check.'

'Our ancestors found cabbage and cauliflower much easier to catch than cows, and thrived on the diet.'