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Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040832

Energy, Macronutrient Intake, and Anthropometrics of Vegetarian, Vegan, and Omnivorous Children (1–3 Years) in Germany (VeChi Diet Study)

1
Fachhochschule des Mittelstands (FHM), University of Applied Sciences, 33602 Bielefeld, Germany
2
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Interdisciplinary Research Center, Justus Liebig University Giessen, 35392 Giessen, Germany
3
IEL-Nutritional Epidemiology, DONALD Study, University of Bonn, 44225 Dortmund, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 March 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegetarian, Vegan Diets and Human Health)
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Abstract

Due to the lack of current, large-scale studies examining their dietary intake and health, there are concerns about vegetarian (VG) and vegan (VN) diets in childhood. Therefore, the Vegetarian and Vegan Children Study (VeChi Diet Study) examined the energy and macronutrient intake as well as the anthropometrics of 430 VG, VN, and omnivorous (OM) children (1–3 years) in Germany. A 3-day weighed dietary record assessed dietary intake, and an online questionnaire assessed lifestyle, body weight (BW), and height. Average dietary intakes and anthropometrics were compared between groups using ANCOVA. There were no significant differences in energy intake or density and anthropometrics between the study groups. OM children had the highest adjusted median intakes of protein (OM: 2.7, VG: 2.3, VN: 2.4 g/kg BW, p < 0.0001), fat (OM: 36.0, VG: 33.5, VN: 31.2%E, p < 0.0001), and added sugars (OM: 5.3, VG: 4.5, VN: 3.8%E, p = 0.002), whereas VN children had the highest adjusted intakes of carbohydrates (OM: 50.1, VG: 54.1, VN: 56.2%E, p < 0.0001) and fiber (OM: 12.2, VG: 16.5, VN: 21.8 g/1,000 kcal, p < 0.0001). Therefore, a VG and VN diet in early childhood can provide the same amount of energy and macronutrients, leading to a normal growth in comparison to OM children. View Full-Text
Keywords: vegetarian; vegan; children; energy; macronutrients; nutrient intake; body weight; body height; WHO Child Growth Standards vegetarian; vegan; children; energy; macronutrients; nutrient intake; body weight; body height; WHO Child Growth Standards
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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Weder, S.; Hoffmann, M.; Becker, K.; Alexy, U.; Keller, M. Energy, Macronutrient Intake, and Anthropometrics of Vegetarian, Vegan, and Omnivorous Children (1–3 Years) in Germany (VeChi Diet Study). Nutrients 2019, 11, 832.

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