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Is Teen Vegetarianism an Eating Disorder?

Many adolescents who adoptvegetarian lifestyles may be engaging in unhealthy eating behaviors, according to new a study published by the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

The study, led by nutritionist Ramona Robinson-O'Brien, an assistant professor at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University in Minnesota, sought to “examine characteristics of current and former adolescent and young adult vegetarians and investigate the relationships between vegetarianism, weight, dietary intake, and weight-control behaviors.”

Robinson-O’Brien and her team discovered that vegetarian teens were more likely than others to have healthy intakes of fruits, vegetables and fat, but that “current vegetarians may be at increased risk for binge eating with loss of control, while former vegetarians may be at increased risk for extreme unhealthful weight-control behaviors.”

The team went on to conclude that “it would be beneficial for clinicians to inquire about current and former vegetarian status when assessing risk for disordered eating behaviors.”

See the study here.

Are vegetarians healthier?
See the Opposing Views debate.


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