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turning teens OFF to vegetarianism article

This article makes me mad! Especially since the link came from a website at a health food store I used to shop at in Florida! >:(

http://www.richardswholefoods.com/common/news/news_results.asp?task=Headline&id=9825&storeID=1FQSSEQX5CS92J2000AKHMCCQ259DGG9

They make is sound so difficult and dangerous to be veg*n! What I find difficult is being healthy and not overweight when one eats like a "regular" teenager! 

Someone actually sent this to me and said he would be worried about Noah (my son) as a teenager!

On a side note, I think a bonus of veganism as a child is that he/she starts to understand early on that it is OK to be different and start to stand up to peer pressure. The other day his snack got left behind while he was at aftercare and they were having Nachos and Cheese. He told me he just ate the chips and not the cheese. Imagine a 6 year old making this distinction and not getting upset about it! Maybe when he is older he wont feel pressured to do drugs/drink because he is used to being different?

In all articles like this and even in some that advocate a veg diet, when comparing veg diets to omnivorism they ALWAYS ALWAYS forget to mention that no matter what kind of diet you choose to follow EVERYONE needs to do research and have a well-balanced and well-planned diet! Just eating meat doesn't = getting all the nutrients you need to be healthy.  SOOO FRUSTRATING.

The article mentions that many young vegetarians eat nothing but junk food. And this is different from young omnis....how??? To me, the addition of chemical and hormone laden animal products to all of the junk most teens eat is hardly a model of health. Quite the opposite.

>:( >:( >:(

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Yeah right. With a vegetarian diet you lack nutrients? ;D ;D :D They also forgot to add ,"And with a meat based diet you also get cholesterol and high blood pressure."

And your son is not different for making veggie choices.

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The article mentions that many young vegetarians eat nothing but junk food. And this is different from young omnis....how???

I wonder about this a lot.  Rarely do I eat in the cafeteria, but the other day was the weekly tofu vegtable stir fry so I decided to get that, a salad, and a mixture of greenbeans and kidney beans.  I'm looking around at what everyone else was eating and it was disgusting!  A majority of the girls do eat a salad, but then you turn around and there is a guy with nothing but a plate of french fries, two double cheeseburgers, and two glasses of soda!  What?!  He sat down at a table where pretty much everyone was eating something similar!  Apparently because it is an omni diet that is healthy for you??  Right...Maybe?

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I do wish they would have included that the diet of meat eating teens is very malnourishing as well.  Probably moreso than some vegetarians.

However, I appreciate the article.  It states stated how well the teen in on a balanced vegetarian diet as opposed to her meat eating one. 

Teens are growing folks and require males require a lot of calories and protein, and females require a lot of calcium as well. 

I cringe at what I read on the daily eating threadsd of another forum sometimes.  "Today I ate a baked potato and a Luna Bar"

I've said it before "veg*n" does not equate with healthy.  Many teens really don't know how to eat healthy and what's wrong with a little encouragement to eat the correct vegetarian foods?   Too many self-righteous superior acting vegetarians eat like crap.  There I said it.  Flame me because I'm flame proof.  Said with much love and respect.  :)

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>:(  Arg.  I hate that.  I sent that site an email asking them to review the article, hopefully one of the site editors will see it and realize how foolish is.  It seems incredible that something like that would be posted on a whole foods store's site called 'Living Naturally'  :-X

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The article mentions that many young vegetarians eat nothing but junk food. And this is different from young omnis....how???

I wonder about this a lot.  Rarely do I eat in the cafeteria, but the other day was the weekly tofu vegtable stir fry so I decided to get that, a salad, and a mixture of greenbeans and kidney beans.  I'm looking around at what everyone else was eating and it was disgusting!  A majority of the girls do eat a salad, but then you turn around and there is a guy with nothing but a plate of french fries, two double cheeseburgers, and two glasses of soda!  What?!  He sat down at a table where pretty much everyone was eating something similar!  Apparently because it is an omni diet that is healthy for you??  Right...Maybe?

soo true. i remember in HS how girls would bring a diet soda and chips to 0 period for breakfast and no one would question that. so i guess if you eat meat/dairy with your junk, that's fine and you don't need actual produce. meat/dairy must have some kind of magic power to sustain life....  :-X

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The problem with the junk food is that it's true.  I didn't grow up veg, I went veg in an "omni" (if you can count canned veggies) household, and I had no support at all.  As a result, I ate lots of junk food and processed food, and lost about 20 pounds of healthy weight. 

The difference between your reality and the reality of the author is that you have all learned a lot about vegetarianism, and you would support (obviously) your children in their veg*n diet, and the author can't draw the distinction between a veg*n household and a child going it alone in a carni home.  My children, for example, will have the benefit of at least 15-20 years of vegetarian experience and learning that I didn't have.  A better article would have been about how to support your teenager when they made their decision.

But I guess not everyone knows enough about Omega's to have that level of brain power :P

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You KNOW the only food that child ate was potato chips, macaroni and cheese and maybe PB&J.  My son was brought up vegetarian.  In his life, I took him to the doctor's office twice, other than well visits.  He has only had antibiotics once in his life.  He is 6 feet tall, not one bit overweight and strong as an ox.  He does not have asthma, anemia, or anything else wrong with him.  Nobody made fun of him.  In fact, when he took his lunch to school, the kids wanted to try it.  Yeah, he's living proof  "vegetarian diets are bad"...... >:(

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" can be a healthy lifestyle, but you have to be very careful to get the nutrients you need."

This is important news... because if you're not vegetarian you don't have to be mindful of what nutrients you need.  It's an important message to get across that bacon and cheese curls are safe.  Watch out for that kale, tho.

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this is the response i wrote to the site, which sums up my reaction:
I must say that i am more than a little disturbed by your recent article " For Vegetarians, It's Tough to Eat Right".  I felt the article made a point of discouraging young people from a vegetarian or vegan diet, without discussing the health of a typical teanager's diet.  When Dr. Mesinger notes that many young vegetarians eat nothing but junk food, I think it should be noted that generally that's what ALL teanagers eat.  I for one, am a 21-year-old vegan college student, who DOES eat whole grain rice and beans, along with a huge variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.  And as for this: " Meredith L. Mensinger, clinical nutrition manager at St. Joseph Medical Center, said vegetarians could face critical nutritional deficiencies if their diet lacks research and education", isn't it true that ALL americans face nutritional deficiencies if their diet lacks research and education?  i hope that in the future this website publishes articles that reflect all sides of the issue of vegan and vetegarian diets

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thanks wormy and limeGreen for writing to them! Please post responses that you get! Great job!!!

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Very good letter Lime Green.  I don't think the article is discouraging veg*nism in teens, because it points out how well the student did and felt when eating a healthy vegetarian diet,  but doesn't give equal opportunity to the fact that meat eating kids aren't exactly pictures of healthy eating either.

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