Energy intake and body weight in ovo-lacto vegetarians

J Clin Gastroenterol. 1986 Aug;8(4):451-3. doi: 10.1097/00004836-198608000-00014.


Vegetarians have a lower body weight than omnivores. In this study the relationship between the weight/height ratio and food consumption was evaluated in 92 ovo-lacto vegetarians and 113 omnivores in Israel. The average weight of the vegetarians was significantly lower than that of the omnivores (60.8 kg vs. 69.1 kg), even though the vegetarian diet supplied a significantly higher amount of calories than the nonvegetarian diet (3,030.5 cal/day vs. 2,626.8 cal/day). Consumption of fat was similar in both groups. Carbohydrate consumption was higher in the vegetarians while protein consumption was lower. The prevalence of obesity was significantly lower in the vegetarian group (5.4%) as compared to 19.5% among the omnivores. The lower body weight of vegetarians despite a higher caloric intake is of considerable interest.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight*
  • Diet, Vegetarian*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged