1 in 200 children estimated to be vegetarian

A bag of vegetables.
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KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It's estimated that one in 200 children are vegetarians — that's about 300,000 children. 

The rate increases in teens by about five times. Unlike many adults who choose to become vegetarians for health reasons, teens and young adults do it for animal welfare. 

Statistically, vegetarians are often female, from higher income families, and they live on the East or the West Coast.

Eating a vegetarian diet can be very healthy, but for growing children, it's important to get sufficient amounts of protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, calcium, and other very important nutrients that most people get from meat, eggs, and dairy.