Growth and Development of Vegetarian Raised Children - Essay Example

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The writer of the essay "Growth and Development of Vegetarian Raised Children" suggests that if a diet contains enough calories, normal growth and development can be expected and studies of vegan children have shown that their caloric intake is close to recommended levels and similar to non-vegan. …
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Growth and Development of Vegetarian Raised Children
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Growth and Development of Vegetarian Raised Children College The studies on the benefits of vegetarian diet in childrencontinue to growth, in contrast there are also studies that show the opposite. However parents and society are starting to accept its potential lifelong benefits. Despite this, the controversy continues because there have been documented cases of children failing to thrive that have adopted a vegetarian diet. By comparing different studies done in different time frames we can see the effect that different eating habits have on children.
If a child’s diet contains enough calories, normal growth and development can be expected and studies of vegan children have shown that their caloric intake is close to recommended levels and similar to intakes of non-vegan children of the same age. Vegan children in the United Kingdom and the United States have been found to be slightly shorter and lighter in weight than average but appeared to be growing at a normal rate (Vegan Society, 2007).
“When using a cross sectional design as it was done in the Flemish vegetarian children, adolescent and young adult. The studyshows that there are controversial results, as to the benefits of vegetarian raised children.
For example, in the so-called Farm Study (a vegetarian commune in Tennessee) O’Connell and coll. found that the body height of children up to 10 years of age, raised in a vegetarian commune, was consistently below the US reference values. Because of the scarcity of data on physical growth, pubertal development and physical fitness of vegetarian children, adolescents and young adults, we designed a study to assess the average daily dietary intakes of food energy in a total of 82 children (Group A: 6-10 year-old girls and 6-12 year-old boys), adolescents (Group B: 10-16 year-old girls and 12-18 year-old boys), and young adults (Group C: 16-30 year-old-girls and 18-30 year-old boys).”
In contrast, in two studies in children of Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) communities, who largely follow a vegetarian lifestyle, no significant differences in height were found, with the exception of SDA school boys who were significantly taller. After controlling for height differences, boys and girls in the SDA School were found to be leaner than their public school peers (Marcel, 1997).
These studies show little significant benefits of vegetarian meals over non vegetarian meals. However when it comes to their learning responses in class, the SDA children were seen to perform better than the children from non SDA homes. This was after considering more than 100 children both from SDA and non SDA families.
In conclusion it is evident to say that from the study, results show that lacto-vegetarian diet is able to support and adequately sustains physical development and growth. With non SDA children as the main point of reference, it is seen that the vegetarian children are cleaner and that when a strength test is given, then they score relatively high than their counterparts. However their cardio respiratory endurance is also high (Marcel, 1997).
Marcel, H. (1997). Growth and development of vegetarian children, 2(5), 1-4 Read More
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