Julie Gilbert, a Brisbane-based accredited practicing dietitian, says
that people who elect to go vegetarian may actually be harming
themselves as they replace meat products with items like pasta, which
may not be so nutritious.
Gilbert says this is especially true among teenagers, who shum meat for vegetarian diets, "They are growing and developing and they need protein to come from a variety of plant foods because legumes, nuts and seeds by themselves are not complete proteins," she added.
There is a high risk of iron deficiency for teen girls who follow the vegetarian route without supplementing their diet with adequate foods.
"If you're eating no animal products then you need to know where you'll get your vitamin B12 from. Most vegetarians are lacto-ovo vegetarians who are including dairy and eggs in their diets so they'll be covered," Saunders added.