Vegetarian Diets & Teens

Vegetarian Diets & Teens

According to a recent health study, vegetarian youth in Sweden and Norway do not practice other healthy lifestyle behaviors such as exercising more or using alcohol or tobacco less frequently than do their peers.

This finding is based on a survey of 2,041 Swedish and Norwegian 15-to 16-year-old students, 149 of whom said they were low-meat consumer – a category that included vegetarians. Nearly three-quarters of the low-meat eaters were female.

Vegetarian Diets Did Not Lead to Lower Body Mass Index

Altogether, the low-meat eaters did not differ from their omnivore, or meat and vegetable eating, peers in their weight, body mass index or their opinion about their weight.

This suggests that concern about weight is not a major reason among adolescents for becoming low-meat consumers.

Young women also did not seem to choose the low-meat diet for health-related reasons. In fact, being healthy seemed to be more important for the omnivores, who tended to be healthier than the low-meat eaters, study findings indicate.

Female low-meat eaters reported being sick more often than did their peers, while male low-meat eaters reported being tired and having headaches more often than their peers. Both the male and female low-meat eaters reported being depressed more often than the omnivores.

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