Nutrition Challenges and opportunities when shifting to plant-based diets, Paula Hallam

Growth & Development Malnutrition
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There has been an increasing number of individuals shifting towards plant-rich dietary patterns over the past decade. This is thought to have stemmed from the growing interest in preserving the planet and improving human health. A move towards plant-based diets is found prevalent in young people aged 18-24 years old with 1 of 5 reportedly being flexitarian, 1 of 10 vegetarian, and 1 in 20 vegan. These individuals are likely to have families that will adapt the same dietary pattern. While studies have shown that vegetarian and vegan children grow equally as omnivorous children on average, there is a potential risk for deficiencies, which are typically combatted by ensuring these children have adequate energy and micronutrients through supplementation. Hence, future challenges in diet and nutrition should be anticipated and highly considered.