Diets empty of all kinds of animal products, including meat, fish or dairy and eggs, are becoming increasingly popular for health, environmental and ethical reasons. Prior research has linked vegan and vegetarian diets to a lower risk of heart disease but a higher risk of fractures due to lower calcium intake. But the effect on children had not been evaluated until the results of the research released this week.
Evaluation of the dangers of a vegan diet in children
Researchers have found a link between shorter stature and weaker bones in vegan children than in meat eaters. But he did not say that vegan diets caused the difference, nor did he say that the difference would continue into adulthood. According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the difference was tested in children aged 5-10 years in Poland. Through research, researchers ‘tried to understand the dangers of vegan diet for children’.
Between 2014 and 2016, 187 healthy children were included, 63 of them were vegetarians, 52 vegetarians and 72 meat eaters. Completing the data focused on growth, body composition, cardiovascular risk and micronutrient intake in vegetarian or vegan children. It was then compared to a group of children who included meat in their diet. Since the research was observational, the researchers did not make any changes to the children’s diets. They included children who were consuming such diets earlier.
Research reveals lack of height and weakness
After the research, the researchers said that the children who followed the plant-based diet i.e. the vegan diet, their height was on average 3 cm shorter than the meat eaters. They also found that children on vegan diets were at higher risk of nutritional deficiencies. They were more likely to have low levels of vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D and iron in their diets. The mineral responsible for bone was found to be 5 percent less in children dependent on vegan diet. Researchers said this is important because the higher the bone mineral content, the higher the bone mineral density.
He said the difference of five per cent is worrying, as people at this age have limited time in which children with nutritional deficiencies can adapt to bone mineral density, that is, 95 per cent of bone mass by the age of 20. can be obtained. Loss of bone density is associated with a higher rate of fractures in later life. Calcium, vitamin D and protein are important for bone growth and development. Vegan diets may be lacking in these nutrients, as their main sources come from animal products.
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