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Nutritional Status of Flemish Vegetarians Compared with Non-Vegetarians: A Matched Samples Study
Department of Human Biometry and Biomechanics, Faculty of Physical Education and Physical Therapy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussel, Belgium
Department of Biomedical Kinesiology, Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences, K.U.Leuven, Tervuursevest 101, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium
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; in revised form: 9 July 2010 / Accepted: 12 July 2010 / Published: 14 July 2010
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
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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.
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(7):770-780.
Deriemaeker, Peter; Alewaeters, Katrien; Hebbelinck, Marcel; Lefevre, Johan; Philippaerts, Renaat; Clarys, Peter. 2010. "Nutritional Status of Flemish Vegetarians Compared with Non-Vegetarians: A Matched Samples Study." Nutrients 2, no. 7: 770-780.