Hi, it's Doctor Corey Howard here,
and I got a great question today.
How safe is a vegetarian diet in children,
and is their height and growth
impacted by not eating meat?
Wow, well how much better could a question get
because our diet is one of the major problems
that we face today.
In fact, just looking at some these lifestyle behaviors,
and nutrition being one of them,
we could reduce tons of problems chronically
that we face, but in kids it gives them
a really great foundation for lifelong health.
In fact, vegetarians have been shown to
have a decrease in mortality or the risk of dying
from all causes.
So why not start that in childhood?
Now it can decrease some of
the most common problems that we see in kids,
which of course is obesity,
that causes the vast majority of all the
problems that we see moving on into adulthood.
If we can do something about that,
that would be wonderful.
Let's talk about some of the other things that
it actually does because a vegetarian-type diet,
or a plant-based diet,
really can improve a lot of things,
including possibly brain function,
certainly decreasing inflammation in the body,
and as far as growth goes specifically,
early on kids might grow a little bit slower,
but tend to catch up, and this was shown
in a study in Tennessee in 1989,
and there are some other studies that
have shown very similar kind of data.
The interesting thing is that kids who
are on a vegetarian-type diet,
tend to reach puberty a little bit later on.
That's okay because that's probably how it was intended.
All of the hormone-laden meats and other things like that
that we get in our diet are actually causing
pre or early puberty.
That's probably not so good.
Now there are a few things in a vegetarian diet
you've got to be careful of,
that you need to make sure you get enough
vitamin B12 and enough of the kind of healthy fats.
You can get them in fortified cereals, B12,
or you can actually use a supplement if necessary.
As far as healthy fats goes,
there are plenty of healthy fats
in natural products such as avocados,
and other forms of foods like that.
Now, how about the foods that they would eat
because they'd say, "Well, vegetarian, what could I eat?"
Whole grains, vegetables, nuts and seeds,
and greens, and non-dairy milk.
All of those things are amazing, delicious,
and will help drive your kids to perform their best,
and reach optimum health.
Thanks for asking the question.
It's Doctor Corey Howard. I look forward to some more.