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Nutrients 2010, 2(7), 770-780; doi:10.3390/nu2070770
Article

Nutritional Status of Flemish Vegetarians Compared with Non-Vegetarians: A Matched Samples Study

1,* , 1
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2
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3
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1 Department of Human Biometry and Biomechanics, Faculty of Physical Education and Physical Therapy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussel, Belgium 2 Department of Biomedical Kinesiology, Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences, K.U.Leuven, Tervuursevest 101, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium 3 Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Watersportlaan 2, B-9000 Gent, Belgium
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 June 2010 / Revised: 9 July 2010 / Accepted: 12 July 2010 / Published: 14 July 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegetarian Nutrition)
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Abstract

The present study compares the nutritional status of vegetarian (V) with non-vegetarian (NV) subjects. A three-day food record and a health questionnaire were completed by 106 V and 106 NV matched for following characteristics: sex, age, BMI, physical activity, tobacco use and alcohol consumption. Total energy intake was not significantly different (men: V: 2,346 ± 685 kcal/d; NV: 2,628 ± 632 kcal/d; p = 0.078; women: V: 1,991 ± 539 kcal/d; NV: 1,973 ± 592 kcal/d; p = 0.849). Macronutrients intake differed significantly between the V and NV subjects for protein (men: V:12.7 ± 2.3 E%; NV:15.3 ± 4.5 E%; p = 0.003; women: V: 13.2 ± 2.3 E%; NV:16.0 ± 4.0 E%; p < 0.001), fat (men: V: 29.3 ± 8.4 E%; NV: 33.8 ± 5.3 E%; p = 0.010; women: V: 29.7 ± 6.9 E%; NV: 34.7 ± 9.0 E%; p < 0.001), and carbohydrate (men: V: 55.3 ± 10.1 E%; NV: 47.4 ± 6.9 E%; p < 0.001; women: V: 55.1 ± 7.6 E%; NV: 47.2 ± 8.2 E%; p < 0.001). The intake of most minerals was significantly different between the V and the NV subjects. V had a lower sodium intake, higher calcium, zinc, and iron intake compared to the NV subjects. Our results clearly indicate that a vegetarian diet can be adequate to sustain the nutritional demands to at least the same degree as that of omnivores. The intakes of the V subjects were closer to the recommendations for a healthy diet when compared to a group of well matched NV subjects.
Keywords: vegetarians; matched samples; nutritional status vegetarians; matched samples; nutritional status
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Deriemaeker, P.; Alewaeters, K.; Hebbelinck, M.; Lefevre, J.; Philippaerts, R.; Clarys, P. Nutritional Status of Flemish Vegetarians Compared with Non-Vegetarians: A Matched Samples Study. Nutrients 2010, 2, 770-780.

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