Türkiye’de Yaşayan Vegan - Vejetaryen Bireylerin Beslenme Durumlarının Kıyaslanması Üzerine Pilot Bir Çalışma
Anahtar Kelimeler:Vegan, vejetaryen, beslenme durumu
Aim: Vegan and vegetarian diets are in an increasing trend worldwide in recent years. Vegan/vegetarian diets, which are known to have positive effects on health, may result in nutrient deficiencies if they are not balanced. It is important to determine the nutritional status of vegan and vegetarian individuals, whose number is increasing in Turkey, in order to build national recommendations. This study was conducted as a pilot study to determine the energy and nutrient intake of vegan/vegetarian individuals living in Turkey.
Subjects and Method: A total of 285 volunteered vegan/vegetarian individuals aged 19-64 years participated in the study. The general information and vegan/vegetarian status of the participants were questioned with an online survey. After answering the survey, 38 volunteered participants kept a consecutive three-day “24-h food record” and shared it with the researchers. The energy and nutrient intakes of the individuals and the rates of meeting their requirements were calculated. Chi-square test of independence was used to compare individuals’ vegan/vegetarian status by gender and general knowledge by vegan/vegetarian status; independent sample t-test and Mann-Whitney U test were used for age, energy and nutrient comparisons between groups.
Results: The majority of the participants were female (79.3%), holding at least a bachelor’s degree (89.5%), and had a normal BMI value (72.6%). Rate of vegan and vegetarian participants that were not able to meet their energy and nutrient requirements were as follows respectively: 76.5%, 85.7% for energy (kcal); 52.9%, 95.2% for carbohydrate (%); 100%, 52.4% for vitamin B12; 64.7% 61.9% for folate; 94.1%, 76.2% for calcium; 64.7%, 76.2% for iron; and 88.2%, 71.4% for zinc.
Conclusion: It has been observed that vegan and vegetarian individuals living in Turkey are at risk of several nutrient deficiencies. Considering the increasing trend of vegan and vegetarian diets, it is necessary to determine the nutritional status of individuals on a large scale and to raise awareness of individuals. It is important that the recommendations specific to vegan/vegetarian individuals in national nutrition guidelines are implemented by vegan/vegetarian individuals, health professionals and food service providers.