Kerstin Schorr published a narrative review “A plant-based diet index to study the relation between diet and disease risk among adults: a narrative review” in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging in June 2024

Plant-based diets (PBD) may offer various health benefits and contribute to a sustainable way of life, but, if not planned correctly, may also confer risks, e.g., by focusing on plant foods with low nutrient density, such as foods primarily consisting of refined carbohydrates. A plant-based diet index (PDI) differentiating between a healthful, unhealthful, and overall PBD, offers a promising approach to standardize and compare studies and integrate results. In this review we (1) summarize current evidence on the PDI and disease risk of relevance to public health, (2) discuss the methodology of the PDI and how it can be sensibly applied in further studies and (3) indicate areas with a lack of knowledge, such as vulnerable populations. In summary, our amalgamation shows, that adherence to a healthier plant-based diet is associated with an 8–68% lower risk for metabolic risk factors, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, while adherence to an unhealthier plant-based diet is associated with a 10–63% higher risk. Although differences in calculation methods and underlying diet patterns between populations should be accounted for, the PDI can be a useful tool to assess adherence to different plant-based diet patterns and their association with health outcomes in cohort studies across cultures.