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Eating Disorders - Vegetarians
Diet and Food Restriction May Lead to Disorder Eating Among Young Vegetarians
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Eating Disorders - Vegetarians

Dieting alone, let alone any diet that eliminates certain foods or food groups, can pose very real threats to the health of teens and college-age women. "The more you restrict your diet, the more difficult it is to get all the nutrients you need," said Marilyn Stephenson, R.D., of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in the May 1992 issue of FDA Consumer. "To be healthful, vegetarian diets require very careful, proper planning."

The problem is that "often, these young vegetarians lack the knowledge and motivation needed to plan healthful vegetarian meals," said Kathleen Meister, M.S., in Vegetarianism (American Council for Science and Health, July 1997). They're often motivated by ethical concerns over eating animals or have become fearful of dangers, as purported by various environmental and animal-rights groups. These groups are very active on school campuses, she notes, and young people "are especially vulnerable to ideology, and their strong feelings and limited life experiences may lead them to make questionable choices."

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