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November 1979

Vegetarian Diets

Author Affiliations

Department of Community Health Education San Joaquin Community Hospital Bakersfield, CA 93301

Am J Dis Child. 1979;133(11):1204. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1979.02130110112031

Sir.—I wish to comment on the articles by Finberg (133:129, 1979), Dwyer et al (133:134-140, 1979), and Zmora et al (133:141-144, 1979) on "vegetarian" diets in the February issue of the Journal. The term "vegetarian" implies all vegetarians whereas in most instances it was only the "strict" or "total" vegetarians in whom there was a problem. "Vegetarian rickets" is an inaccurate term. God made the sun to shine on the vegetarian as well as on the flesh-eater, even in Boston. Most vegetarians do not get rickets. Some who eat meat and some who do not may get rickets but not because they eat meat or vegetables. Calcium lack should not be related either to a vegetable diet or to a meat diet. Meat is lacking in calcium. Greens provide considerable calcium. A high protein diet, as in a meat diet, increases urinary excretion of calcium1 and thus increases

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