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Public Health Nutr. 2005 Oct;8(7):870-5.

Height, age at menarche, body weight and body mass index in life-long vegetarians.

Author information

1
Cancer Research UK Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford, Gibson Building, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford OX2 6HE, UK. magdalena.rosell@cancer.org.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We investigated whether life-long adherence to a vegetarian diet is associated with adult height, age at menarche, adult body weight and body mass index (BMI), used as indicators of growth, development and obesity, in a large sample of adults.

DESIGN:

This was a cross-sectional study. Anthropometric data and information on age, ethnicity, education, age at menarche and age at becoming a vegetarian were obtained through a questionnaire. Self-reported height and weight were calibrated using predictive equations derived from a previous validation study.

SETTING:

United Kingdom.

SUBJECTS:

The study includes 45 962 British men and women aged > or = 20 years of whom 16,083 were vegetarians (not eating fish or meat).

RESULTS:

In men and women, there were no significant differences in height, weight or BMI between life-long vegetarians (n = 125 (men) and n = 265 (women)) and people who became vegetarian at age > or = 20 years (n = 3122 (men) and n = 8137 (women)). Nor was there a significant difference in age at menarche between life-long vegetarian women and women who became vegetarian at age > or = 20 years.

CONCLUSION:

This study suggests that, compared with people who become vegetarian when adult, life-long vegetarians do not differ in adult height, weight, BMI or age at menarche in women.

PMID:
16277803
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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