Plant-based diet may reduce heart disease risk in obese children

13 February 2015

Feeding obese children a low-fat, plant-based vegan diet may lower their risk of heart disease by improving a number of health factors.

Published in the Journal of Pediatrics, a new study has found that this change in nutrition could enable them to drop excess weight, and lower their blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), cholesterol levels and insulin sensitivity.

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic conducted a four-week study comparing a plant-based vegan diet to one recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA). Nearly 30 children between the ages of nine and 18 who were obese and had high cholesterol  were enrolled in the study, and one parent for each participant also followed the recommended food plan.

Those on the plant-based diet consumed plants and whole grains, with limited avocado and nuts, no added fat, and no animal products. It found these children experienced significant improvements in nine measures: BMI, systolic blood pressure, weight, mid-arm circumference, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and insulin, as well as two common markers of heart disease, myeloperoxidase and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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