Maternal and Child Health

Size, obesity, and leanness in vegetarian preschool children.

Alterations in a series of anthropometric measurements taken on 142 vegetarian preschool children adhering to macrobiotic or other vegetarian regimens were studied. Length, subscapular skinfolds, and arm-muscle cirumferences differed from expectations. Dietary group and age, but not sex, were associated with these variations. Measurements were more likely to be depressed among children on a macrobiotic diet.

The effect of a virtually cholesterol-free, high-linoleic-acid vegetarian diet on serum lipoproteins of children with familial hypercholesterolemia (type II-A).

The effect of a virtually cholesterol-free, high-linoleic-acid vegetarian diet and a high-linoleic-acid "normal" diet with a moderate cholesterol content was tested in 39 children heterozygote for hypercholesterolemia type II-A. The diets were administered in an outpatient cross-over design of two periods of 10 weeks each and the serum lipoproteins were analyzed at the end of the two 10-week periods. The vegetarian diet induced a decrease in serum concentrations of LDL-II total and free cholesterol and of apo-B, by an average of 10%, whereas HDL cholesterol and apo-A-I decreased by 4%.

Differences in fatty acid composition of human milk in vegetarian and nonvegetarian women: long-term effect of diet.

The purpose of the current study was to determine whether there were differences in the fatty acid composition of milk from vegetarian mothers compared to nonvegetarian mothers and whether fatty acid composition was related to length of time on a vegetarian diet. Median time on a vegetarian diet was 81 months (range 36-132 months). Milk fat and fatty acids produced de novo in the mammary gland did not differ between diet groups. Milk from vegetarian women (n = 12) contained higher percentages of the precursors of arachidonic acid compared to nonvegetarian women (n = 7).

Effect of vegetarian diet on serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D concentrations during lactation.

The effect of maternal diet on serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D has not been determined in human lactation. Serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, other calcitropic hormones, osteocalcin, and minerals were examined in lactating and nonlactating women consuming a vegetarian or nonvegetarian diet. The vegetarian diet was a macrobiotic diet consisting primarily of whole cereal grains and vegetables; dairy products, eggs, and meats were generally avoided.

The dietary intake of a group of vegetarian children aged 7-11 years compared with matched omnivores.

There is a lack of information concerning the diet of vegetarian children. The present study compared the dietary intake of fifty vegetarian children, aged 7-11 years, with fifty matched omnivores. Three 3 d food records were completed by each child at intervals of 6 months. The day after completing the record each child was interviewed to clarify food items and assess portion sizes. Food records were analysed using Microdiet (University of Salford). Finger-prick cholesterol and haemoglobin measurements were taken from a subsample of the group.

A longitudinal study of the growth of matched pairs of vegetarian and omnivorous children, aged 7-11 years, in the north-west of England.

OBJECTIVE:To assess the ability of a meat free diet to support normal growth of children. DESIGN:A one year longitudinal observational case--comparison study of growth. SETTING:Children were recruited mainly through schools from Merseyside and all measurements were taken in their homes. SUBJECTS:Fifty 'free-living' children following meat free diets, aged 7-11 y (expected to be pre-pubertal), were compared with a control group of 50 omnivores matched for age, sex and ethnic group. INTERVENTION:None.

Is a vegetarian diet adequate for children.

The number of people who avoid eating meat is growing, especially among young people. Benefits to health from a vegetarian diet have been reported in adults but it is not clear to what extent these benefits are due to diet or to other aspects of lifestyles. In children concern has been expressed concerning the adequacy of vegetarian diets especially with regard to growth. The risks/benefits seem to be related to the degree of restriction of he diet; anaemia is probably both the main and the most serious risk but this also applies to omnivores.

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