Possible growth disorders? New analysis published

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Of: Juliane Gutman


No extra sausage for children: Canadian researchers have now determined whether a vegetarian diet is harmful. © Thomas Trutschel / Imago

Raising children without sausage and meat: Is it a good idea or does it increase the risk of nutrient deficiency? A team of researchers has addressed this issue.

A common myth: Those who eat vegetarian food are more likely to suffer from nutrient deficiencies. In fact, an unbalanced diet can lead to an undersupply of magnesium, potassium or other important substances – but this also applies to meat eaters. Anyone who eats sausage and steak but strictly bans other food groups such as dairy products or vegetables from the plate increases their risk of deficiency symptoms. The same goes for vegetarians who eat too one-sidedly. So in general: The more balanced you eat, the better. Anyone who banishes meat and sausages from the menu or only rarely eats them is actually doing something good for themselves and their health, as various studies on vegetarian nutrition suggest.

Those who eat vegetarian usually eat dairy products and eggs as a protein source in addition to vegetables and fruits. What many do not know: Tofu, seitan and beans are also very good sources of protein. Iron deficiency is also sometimes a concern when it comes to vegetarian nutrition. However, this is unfounded if someone frequently uses plant-based iron suppliers. These include oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, sesame and whole grain products.

But what if your parents Give children vegetarian food? Can the rumor be true that the purely plant-based diet negatively affects their growth?

Nutrition study

Children who are vegetarians are more likely to be underweight

A team led by Jonathon Maguire from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto evaluated the effect of a vegetarian diet on children’s development as part of a study. According to the medical journal, data from children between the ages of six months and eight years were analyzed for this purpose. A total of 8,907 children participated, including 248 vegetarians and 25 vegans at baseline. Study participants were periodically examined by pediatricians for their health development. Also Blood tests and parent interviews habits and diet were evaluated.

“No evidence of clinically significant differences in growth or biochemical targets for nutrition in children on a vegetarian diet was found.“, according to the results of the researchers who published their study in the scientific journal Pediatrics. According to the researchers, the vegetarian diet had no negative impact on body mass index, height, vitamin D levels or serum levels such as blood lipid levels. However, there is a warning. vegetarian children who did not eat cow’s milk had somewhat less favorable blood lipid levels than vegetarian children who drank two glasses of milk a day, or children who ate meat.

What the study revealed, however, was that the children who were exclusively vegetarians were 87 percent more likely to be underweight than the control group. Study leader Jonathon Maguire therefore advises parents to consider a vegetarian diet adequate weight gain of their child, as the medical record states. (jg)

More information about the study “Vegetarian diet, growth and nutrition in early childhood: A longitudinal cohort study”

release date: May 2, 2022

investigation period: The study is based on data from the Canadian collaborative study “targetkids”, which aims to analyze and promote the health of Canadian children.

Published I’m in the scientific journal Pediatrics

Scope: 8,907 study participants

study authors: Canadian research team led by Jonathon Maguire from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto

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