Is Red Meat Required for the Prevention of Iron Deficiency Among Children and Adolescents?
Savvas C. Savva,
Iron deficiency remains the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide despite the fact that global prevention
is a high priority. Recent guidelines suggest intake of red meat both in infants and toddlers to prevent iron deficiency.
However frequent consumption of red and processed meat may be associated with an increased risk for cancer, cardiovascular
disease and diabetes. Evidence also suggests that even in vegetarian diets or diets with little consumption of white or
red meat, iron status may not be adversely affected. The Eastern Orthodox Christian Church dietary recommendations
which is a type of periodic vegetarian diet, has proved beneficial for the prevention of iron deficiency and avoidance of
excess iron intake. This paper aims to provide examples of meals for children and adolescents that may be sufficient to
meet age specific iron requirements without consumption of red meat beyond the recommended consumption which is
once or twice per month.
Keywords: Iron, deficiency, infants, children, adolescents.
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