An Associated Press story is making the rounds this week concerning a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report on vegetarianism among American kids and teens. It’s being touted as evidence that meat-free dieting is on the upswing for youths, but guess what? History shows the data means just the opposite.
The CDC found that about 1 in 200 American kids under 18 (or 0.5 percent) reported observing a vegetarian diet in 2007. Yet in 2001, a Roper poll commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) found that two percent of Americans ages 6 to 17 considered themselves vegetarians. That number later grew to three percent in a 2005 VRG poll conducted by Harris Interactive.
So it actually looks like vegetarianism among teens and ‘tweens has taken a nosedive in recent years. Which is a good thing for children’s health.
Contrary to what animal rights activists want you to think, there’s no evidence that a vegetarian diet necessarily equals a healthy one. The philosophy proselytized to America’s children by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the cynically misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is the main reason those few kids still practice meatless eating.
But when medical cases of 12-year-old vegans with rickets start making the news, the vitamin deficiencies and malnutrition associated with a meat-free lifestyle start to look pretty dangerous. And don’t get us started about vegetarian diets and brain shrinkage.
It’s encouraging to know that 99.5 percent of Generation Y prefers good, balanced nutrition over the misguided view of the world promoted by animal activists. Kids these days must be too smart to buy into the save-the-sea-kittens type of propaganda that’s always getting thrown at them.