What is the impact of vegetarian diets on obesity?

Vegetarians have lower rates of obesity. Data from the EPIC-Oxford Study showed that the rate of obesity among vegetarians was about half that of non-vegetarians. Studies on members of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church revealed that the proportion of obese people increased as intake of meat and animal products increased. The average body mass index (BMI) among vegans was 23.6 and among vegetarians 25.7. People eating fish had an average BMI of 26.3. Those who ate meat sparingly had BMI of 27.3 and those who consumed meat more often had a BMI of 28.8. While there difference between vegans and non-vegetarians is just a little over 5 points, this BMI difference translates to more than 40 lbs difference in body mass.