“Please pass the vegetables!” may be a scarcely-heard phrase from kids sitting around the dinner table, but the sentiment is becoming more common as adolescents and teens explore vegetarianism.
While very recent and consistent data on the number of vegetarians in the United States is hard to come by, it’s generally estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that one in 200 American children under 18 is a vegetarian (that number reflects mostly teenagers, who have more control over their diets). This increase begs the questions: What does this mean for young vegetarians’ overall health? And how does it impact family life?
Understandably, parents may fear that it’s harder for vegetarian kids to eat a balanced diet and fit in socially. Some vegetarians replace meat with unhealthful sweets and carbohydrates, rather than vegetables and plant-based proteins, and there are news stories about high school vegetarians being teased for their different eating habits. …
Other stories we’ve been reading:
Children who attend home-based day care are watching twice as much television than previously thought. The Surgeon General declared Thanksgiving Day “Family Health History Day,” and recommends families use this free online tool to gather important health history.
New guidelines on the use of Pap smears to detect cervical cancer recommend that young women delay getting their first test. The New York Times blog, Motherlode, examines the challenges of raising vegetarian children.
Diarrhea and pnemonia are found to kill an estimated 3. 5 million kids under 5 each year globally.
WHO says Tamiflu still works against swine flu.