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Hi, I have a teenage daughter who wants to become a vegetarian. I don't think that this is good for her. She is very persistent in her beliefs. I am certain that vegetarianism will cause her health problems, but I don't have any facts to confront her with. Can you help me to convince her that vegetarianism will have a bad affect on her health?

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Hi, I think that you are both right. The secret of maintaining good health is having a well balanced diet. If you accept the extremes in either way you will endanger your health. Vegetarians are not healthier or sicker than the people who include animal products in their diets. However, your daughter might experience some medical problems if she leaps into vegetarianism without preparation. For instance, vegetarian diet is very poor in vitamin B12 and vitamin D. These vitamins are very important for proper development. If your daughter is that determined to become a vegetarian, you should not try to convince her otherwise. The best thing you can do for your daughter's health is to take her to a nutritionist who will talk to her about a well balanced vegetarian diet.
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Hi, I'm twelve years old and I'm actually quite healthy. If your daughter wants to be a vegetarian, don't stop her. Just make sure she eats enough vegetables and fruits.
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Hey, I'm 16 years old, and I've been a vegetarian for over a year and a half. My mother still thinks that this choice was a bad one. But healthy reasons, becoming a vegetarian can actually make your daughter amine to some concers, obesity, and some diet related diabetes. As long as you make sure she gets enough Iron, Vitamin C, B-12 and Protein she should actually be quite healthy. If she is under weight or over weight, it should actually even her weight out to a healthy one for her. So, as it goes, I would highly recommend that you don't try to uncoinvince her, but actually support her, because I know that it personally hurts me when I see that my mother still disapproves in my choice. But I don't care, as it goes, I am quite happy, and don't ever want to go back to eating meat. =)
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Actually, it is statistically proven that vegetarians are leaner and fitter, with a longer anticipated lifespan.
Vegetarians have a 40% less risk of cancer and much less risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, obesity and other problems that are common among meat eaters. Vegetarians also live several years longer and enjoy better health.

If you think about it, the majority of our life-threatening illnesses and disease are caused by poor diets, and diets full high fat foods and cholesterol. Red meats in particular are a main source of protein, yes, but also a main source for fat and cholesterol. But only if the vegetarian eats properly and fully understands their nutritional needs and good sources of food to fulfill those needs, will they remain healthy.

A person who makes the choice to be a vegetarian can still fulfill all of their nutritional requirments, they just must do so in a different way than those who consume meat. It is more difficult to ensure the proper amounts of certain proteins and Vitamin B-12. Vegetarians do not always get enough of the specific proteins more commonly found in meat. However, I am a vegetarian and take a B-12 supplement, and do just fine. You can never take too much Vitamin B, as you body will urinate out what it doesn't need, so there is no harm done. I think the best way to ease your nerves about you or someone you know becoming a vegetarian is to just educate yourself on what it means to be one, what nutrition requirments you will now have, and what foods will fulfill those requirements. Just making the choice and not changing your eating habits completly won't be healthy. You have to completely change everything about the way you look at food, and the way you use it. Many people eat junk food and a ton of salad and all the normal foods and just cut out the meats, but that will create voids in your nutrition. Instead you must substitute foods like beans, soy or tofu for exmple where the meat protein would have been in order to get the complete nutrition. It is easy to be a successful vegetarian when you have the information you need.
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actually your all wrong, vegetarians arent "leaner" and "more fit" then non-vegetarians, they are typically skinner because they are malnourished because they dont have a balanced enough diet
if you want to be vegetarian fine its your life choice no one else cares, but make sure you do it right, balance you diet and make sure you KNOW exactly what "veggies" will give you which nutrients
and dont try and say non-vegetarians are less healthy because simple human anatomy and science can prove you otherwise
carnivorous animals have short digestive tracts so they can digest meats and convert it to energy and muscle tissue as fast as possible
herbivorous animals have long digestive tracts in order to breakdown the hard to digest plant fibers and absorb as much as possible
omnivorous animals(i.e. humans) have a mid-range digestive tracts so they can digest both as fast AND as much as it can
and look at the human being's closest living relative, the chimpanzee, in the wild they are omnivorous eating fruits, plants, bugs, and even smaller monkeys if they can catch them
the fact of the matter is vegetarians are no healthier than people who include met in their diets, yes too much meat can cause health problems but the keyword there is TOO MUCH
if you balance out your diet with fruits, vegetables, AND meats then you will be perfectly healthy
moderation is the key, too much can be harmful but so can too little, the best and healthiest diet a human being can follow is one that includes both vegetables and meats IN PROPORTION
oh and by the way, dont listen to any of the "statistics" people have posted on here because none of them are true, scientists have proven NONE of the so called stats listed above, there are no percentiles or averages for any kind of vegetarian/non-vegetarian related health problems
i GUARANTEE you that those "statistics" are from a biased person who found it on a biased website, you cant always believe everything you find on the internet
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I do not really appreciate you telling me that I am wrong, "guest." From the sound of your post, you are not even a vegetarian, so from what experience or expertise do you speak?

First of all, I did not say that ALL vegetarians tend to be more lean than the ordinary meat eater. ANY person can be skinny and malnourished if they make poor eating choices, not just someone who does not choose to eat animal protein. I know many people who are vegetaran who are oveweight because they eat french fries, tv dinners an macaroni and cheese thinking that they are avoiding the high fat contents of some meats, when really they are eating extremely unhealthy. I did state that: "...only if the vegetarian eats properly and fully understands their nutritional needs and good sources of food to fulfill those needs, will they remain healthy."

I also did not state anything about any data being "scientifically proven," AT ALL, in my post. I would not grab for straws where they don't exist, just to make vegetarianism seem the best route for people to take. It is a personal choice, and not one to be taken lightly. The statistics that I am discussing are REAL statistics that were gathered from studies on test groups. That is how ALL statistics are gathered. A study from 2006 found that vegetarians did tend to have lower BMIs and lower cholesterol levels than non-vegetarians. They also had 20% fewer deaths from ischemic heart disease. (citation: Proc Nutr Soc. 2006; 65(1):35-41.) THAT IS NOT MADE UP, just so you know.

Also, I did not say that ALL non-vegetarians are less healthy. I am referring to the average American's diet vs. the knowledgable vegetarian's diet. There is evidence that as the PROFITS of the fast food industries rise, so do the BODY FAT PERCENTAGES of the American population, and frequency of visits to fast food restaurants. Here is one article that focuses on one major city in the US that discusses the increase and frequency of patron visits to fast food restaurants like McDonalds and Wendy's each week: http://money.cnn.com/2007/04/12/magazines/fortune/pluggedin_boyle_fastfood.fortune/index.htm
As a vegetarian, I avoid fast food completely as there are virtually no choices that can accomodate a vegetarian, let alone with a low calorie count. On the flip side, my husband eats out at least twice a week, and always goes for the double stackers or foot long steak and cheese sub. I used to eat like that once, but when I made the choice to be meat-free, I made the choice to be more conscious about my body, my calorie intake and my health altogether. People who become vegetarians and then eat poorly and become, as you say, malnourished (which many do, I am not denying it) may not be doing it for the right reasons, and are definitely not doing it the right way and meeting the needs of their body. I did it for the moral reasons, I am against animal cruelty, and it is just overwhelming to see the methods of slaughter houses and the like. That is my personal opinion and choice. But I am not going to just veg on chips and dip, ice cream, cheese ravioli, extra cheese pizza or other types of "non meat" options. I made a conscious choice that supports my values, so I obviously am going to support my body's needs as well. I have bloodwork done every few months and was only low of my vitamin b12 once, and I got a supplement from my doctor to help with that issue. Vitamin B12 supplements are really fantastic because, unlike SOME other vitamins, you can not have too much of it. Your body expels any excess, so no harm comes to your body for having too much.

And I never said that there were not benefits to eating meat. I found an interesting article that weighs some pros and cons of consuming meat. You can find it here:
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/is-meat-good-or-bad-for-us-425192.html
It describes both the health benefits, and specific health risks that go along with consuming meat. And they are not "made up" facts off of a super crazed pro-vegetarian website either, just so you know.

I simply choose not to eat meat, and was giving some advice to someone in need, because as a vegetarian myself, I have some experiences and knowledge about the subject that I can share with others, to help them in making the best choice for them, knowing the risks involved. I do not think anyone should make such a drastic change of eating habits without doing the required research and discussing it with their doctor first. It is very easy to lose track of what you need, and what your getting and before you know it, you have caused damage to your body. But, it can be done, and one can be very healthy if they make sure to meet all their dietary needs.

Oh and by the way, there are far more dietary options that just "veggies" for us to consume to meet our needs. I meet mine just fine and enjoy a variety of delicious and healthy options.
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You said:



look at the human being's closest living relative, the chimpanzee, in the wild they are omnivorous eating fruits, plants, bugs, and even smaller monkeys if they can catch them



This is quite deceptive. Meat and bugs account for less than 5% of chimpanzees' diet. I agree that some consumption of meat and especially fish can be beneficial to health, but normal modern diet in advance countries comprises too much meat. Moderation is the key, but right proportion matters as well.



Peace
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I suppose by now that the original poster's daughter has either become a vegetarian or not become a vegetarian, but I thought I'd put in my two cents if anyone cares.

I decided to become a vegetarian when I was twelve or thirteen. The only thing I had to do to achieve this was to stop going to Burger King. Their disgusting whopper juniors were the only meat in the world that I was still eating (gross, right?). I haven't been to Burger King since then (I'm eighteen now). I have lived all of my adolescent years as a vegetarian, and I am completely healthy. I am not dangerously thin, I'm 5'6", I have long healthy hair and strong teeth. I have never had a heart attack or a stroke (LOL). I guess my point is that I never ate much meat as a kid, except for meats that weren't good for me (I had a partiality for spam---heh heh). Now, I don't really try to replace the absence of meat by eating soy or nuts or protein shakes, so I think my body makes its own adjustments. If the OP's daughter was like me (never in need of much meat), she should be fine, and the transition should be practically effortless. If her body craves meat, I think that's a signal that it's vital to her well-being. If not, then no problem. Not everyone will react in the same way to excess or absence of certain foods. My dad freaked out when I declared myself a "vegetarian," and he tried to make me count my protein grams and whatnot. I was not really changing my diet, except to eliminate the unhealthy meats I rarely ate anyway. Eventually, he saw that I was fine. He is not a medical expert. He likely doesn't know how many "grams" of whatever are required for premium health. He was raised in a time when kids were supposed to finish what was on their plates, and that always included meat (and I might add that after I stopped putting meat on my plate, I was able to finish everything on it).

SO---Parents sometimes want to resist changes like these because they see it as a sign of rebellion, or even rejection, which it's NOT. Vegetarianism is unfamiliar territory for a lot of parents, so they are cautious of it. And of course they want the best for their children. My honest advice would be to let the daughter try it out. If her body needs meat, she will go back to eating it.
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yes the veg food is the best food in the world . 80 percent of the indian population are vegeterian . to become veg you can follow the jainisum also so that you can start love with the other living being other then  human . so once you become the vegeterian ,and actually human are  made to consumes only veg food . for example only who sip water with toung are non veg. and we are not . for example loan drink water with toung and cow dip her mouth in to the water to drink the water . this is the way you can check . and hence we human being are born veg. and we have undustending of feeling of pain when any animals are killed . so stop killing also is turn to vegeterian . and who say that veg food are not contain helthy item , my father age is 85 and my age is 50 and me are my father dose not have any kind of difcinacy . and not only about me or my father . it is about 80 percent people in indian belong to jain and hindu are leving with pure vegeterian . and they are more helth then non veg people , here i also like the say that if you eat meat and fish you dont know what helth problems she are he havind directally come to you by eating them. so quite the non veg food and take only veg food is the good .
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Honestly it is a great deal of all of the above.  The decision is hers, and whether she gets healthier or not is up to her.  Vegetarianism, Vegan-ism, and the consumption of meat can either be good or bad.  Diets should always be balanced in the context of nutrition.  The body requires specific nutrients in order to function at its fullest potential.  Whether you get it from meat or veggies doen't matter.  That is preference.  You need to be clear on all of your intake and how you used or abuse the fuel it gives you.  I have met vegetarians that are just as overweight as meat eaters, and meat eaters that are twigs.  You must factor in you own metabolism, its needs, and your lifestyle.  If you do nothing at all, veggies or meat, you can gain weight.  Veggies have sugar that turns into carbs that changes to fat, just as meat have straight fat.  If you don't know how much to exercise or live a healthy routine and a healthy sleep patter, no matter your decision, it could end up bad.  Either diet is fine with proper nutritional knowledge and practice with the proper amount of exercise.

I personally love meat, and eat more of it than I should, but my cholesterol and overall health is great because I go running, play sports, and work out.  My friend eats the same things, and does nothing.  She is a twig, but I have the genetic predisposition to gaining weight, so I have to work to keep it off, she doesn't.  My vegetarian friends come in all walks too.  They range from scrawny to fit, but it all depends on how they take care of themselves.  Make sure you talk to a nutritionist or a doctor to find out what she needs to change or not change about her routine.  A diet change can do a lot to your system if you don't know how to deal with it.  

hope this helps.
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What are you looking to accomplish with it, and have you spoken to your doctor about making a drastic change in you diet.

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This is a very important age to your daughter when her body will be developing rapidly during the puberty period. I don't think that quiting meat is a good idea here. Just wait a few years let your organism grow up and then see if you still want to be a vegetarian.
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Their are some vitamins and minerals in non veg products which are require in growing age, well absence of them wont create problem but their presence in body have lots of beneficial, non veg have great source of protein and calcium. It is good for teenage as the are in growing stage..
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I want to become vegitarian but I dont know if my parents will agree. Any tips??
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