Pros and cons of a vegan diet
A London study looked at the effects of a vegan diet on children. The result: the children are on average three centimeters shorter, but have significantly better cholesterol and body fat values.
Vegan children are smaller and their bones are weaker
The study by the scientists from “University College London’s Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health” has shown that children on a vegan diet are on average three centimeters shorter than their peers with a mixed diet. The bones of the vegan children also have a lower bone mineral density and are narrower. This could increase the risk of fractures.
187 children were examined, 52 of whom had a vegan diet – i.e. without any animal components such as meat, milk, cheese or eggs.
Children on a vegan diet had better cholesterol and body fat levels
But the study also showed positive effects on the children. The vegan children had healthier cholesterol levels and their body fat percentage was better than that of the children with a meat-based diet.
In addition, it turned out that the majority of the vegan children did not eat animal products, but they are not automatically healthier. Parents should make sure that these are fresh, healthy products and less about vegan substitute products, which are not automatically healthier.
What helps against the disadvantages?
According to the researchers, it is important to pay attention to a balanced diet. In general, it is not a problem to keep children on a vegan diet. However, it is even more important to pay attention to all of the nutrients. Parents should give vitamin B12 and vitamin D as dietary supplements.
According to the Daily Mail, Professor Jonathan Wells, author of the study, says: “There are still very few studies examining the effects of a vegan diet on children.” The scientist welcomed the idea of a more climate-friendly diet – and therefore generally without animal products. (lra)