vegetarian diet

Vegetarian Diet: Benefits and risks

October 12, 2018 - 3:15 am

KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- It is estimated that one in 200 children are vegetarians. That is about 300,000 children. By the teen years the number jumps 500 percent.  

Most adults choose to become vegetarians for health reasons. A significant number of teens and young adults do it for animal welfare. They see this lifestyle change as making a big difference.

Vegetarians are often female, from higher-income families, and they live on the East Coast or the West Coast.  

Eating vegetarian can be very healthful, but people who do not eat meat or fish may lack certain nutrients. For growing children it's important to get sufficient amounts of protein, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, iron, calcium, and other very important nutrients that most people get from meat, eggs, and dairy.