Is a Vegetarian diet harmful to children's development and nutrition?

Is a Vegetarian diet harmful to children's development and nutrition? ...

People who eat vegetarian foods were more likely to develop healthy eating habits, according to a study conducted by researchers at the St. Michaels Hospital of Unity Health Toronto.

As Canada prepares to adopt a plant-based diet, these findings come as updates to Canada''s Food Guide encouraged Canadians to adopt plant-based proteins, such as beans and tofu, instead of meat.

The study has shown a rise in plant-based diets and a changing food environment with increased access to plant-based alternatives, although we have not seen research into the nutritional results of children following vegetarian diets in Canada, according to Dr. Jonathon Maguire, the lead author and a pediatrician at St. Michaels Hospital of Unity Health Toronto.

This study demonstrates that younger children enrolled in vegetarian diets had similar growth and biochemical measures of nutrition than children in non-vegetarian diets. Vegetarian diet was linked to increased odds of obese obese, indicating the need for adequate dietary preparation for overweight individuals.

Participants were categorized by vegetarian status as a dietary variation that excludes meat or non-vegetarian status.

Researchers found that children who consumed meat had a similar mean body mass index (BMI), height, iron, vitamin D, and cholesterol levels. Interestingly, children who had a vegetarian diet had two-fold higher chances of having obese, according to the figures. There was no evidence of an association with overweight or obesity.

Underweight is an indicator of undernutrition, and it may be a sign that the quality of the child''s diet isn''t at all meeting the child''s nutritional needs to support normal growth. The researchers emphasised access to healthcare providers who can provide growth monitoring, education, and guidance to their children.

International guidelines on vegetarian diet in infancy and childhood have differing conclusions, and previous studies that have examined the relationship between vegetarian diet and childhood growth and nutritional status have had difficulties.

Due to an increase in intake of fruits, vegetables, fiber, whole grains, and reduced saturated fat, plant-based dietary patterns are recognized as a healthy eating habit; however, few studies have found that vegetarian diets may be beneficial for most children. Dr. Maguire, who is also a researcher at the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michaels Hospital, has stated that vegan diets are designed to be appropriate for most people.

The authors claim that these studies have not shown the quantity of vegetarian foods. Vegetarian foods vary in several ways, and that the quality of the individual diet may be significant to growth and nutritional outcomes. Vegetarian diets can be beneficial for children who follow a vegan diet, which excludes meat and animal derived foods such as dairy, egg, and honey.

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