Plant-based eating is associated with lower adiposity and inflammation


Researchers from Harvard analyzed data from 831 women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study II and were followed for 13 y. In the follow-up period, mean BMI increased from 24.6 to 26.3. Dietary data were collected every 4 y and 3 plant-based diet indices were calculated from FFQs.

  • overall plant-based diet index (PDI): all plant-based foods
  • healthful plant-based diet index (hPDI): foods rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts,
  • unhealthful plant-based diet index (uPDI): fruit juices, sugar-sweetened beverages, refined grains, and sweets.

A higher hPDI score (higher adherence to a high-quality plant-based diet) was significantly associated with lower plasma concentrations of leptin, insulin, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), and a higher plasma concentrations of adiponectin, even after adjustment for BMI and other covariates.

It was concluded that adherence to a healthful plant-based diet is favorably associated with lower concentrations of biomarkers for adiposity and inflammation.




Reference: Baden MY, Satija A, Hu FB, Huang T. Change in Plant-Based Diet Quality Is Associated with Changes in Plasma Adiposity-Associated Biomarker Concentrations in Women. J Nutr 2019;149:676-86.
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