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close this bookCauses and Mechanisms of Linear Growth Retardation (International Dietary Energy Consultative Group - IDECG, 1993, 216 pages)
close this folderEffects of macrobiotic diets on linear growth in infants and children until 10 years of age
View the document(introductory text...)
View the document1. Introduction
View the document2. Subjects and methods
View the document3. Conversion into nutrients
View the document4. Statistical analysis
View the document5. Results
View the document6. Recommendations for the macrobiotic diet
View the document7. Two-year follow-up study
View the document8. Discussion
View the documentReferences
View the documentDiscussion of papers by Allen, Neumann & Harrison and Dagnelie et al.
View the documentReference

7. Two-year follow-up study

Diet: Few changes were found in the frequency of consumption of foods typical of the macrobiotic diet, but there were some changes in the consumption of animal products, especially dairy products and fish, as well as vegetable oil and vitamin D supplements (see Table 3). However, only 6% of those regularly consuming fish had adopted the advice of eating fatty fish (Smeets et al., 1992).

Growth: Growth velocity, expressed as change in SDS (calculated from the P50 and SD of the cross-sectional Dutch reference curve) of the macrobiotic children in various age groups is presented in Table 4. A marked growth depression for height was observed in the children who at the time of follow-up were 2 years old. For children 3-5 years of age, a slight but significant positive change in SDS had occurred for both weight and height. In children 6-9 years of age, no changes in SDS occurred except a slight but significant positive trend towards the P50 for height in girls. Thus, these data confirm our earlier observations concerning linear growth retardation during the first two years of life and only partial catch-up (for weight and arm circumference) during the following years.

Relation to diet: The frequency of consumption of animal products (i.e. fish and dairy products) was positively associated with height (P < 0.05) (cross-sectional analysis). In those children whose consumption of fish and dairy products had increased since 1985, linear growth was significantly faster (P < 0.05) than in other macrobiotic children (longitudinal analysis) (Smeets et al., 1992). A marked example of catch-up growth in weight and height after the introduction of dairy products and fatty fish in three macrobiotic siblings aged 3, 5 and 8 years is shown in Figs 3a - c.

Table 3. Consumption frequency of selected foods by children in macrobiotic families in 1985 (n = 173) and in 1987 (n = 152)


Percentage of families


1985

1987


³ 3/wk

1-2/wk

<1/wk

³ 3/wk

1-2/wk

<1/wk

Fish

3

41

58

10

64

26

Sunflower/pumpkin seeds

31

32

29

48

27

25

Sesame seeds and pasta

88

3

8

89

5

6

Vegetable oil

75

12

13

92

5

3

Vitamin D supplement in winter

9

1

89

21

1

77

Dairy products

14

5

81

26

12

72

Tofu/tempeh

77

16

8

76

20

3

Leaf vegetables

95

1

4

97

2

2

Table 4. Change in SDS per year of macrobiotic children in different age groups

Current age (1987)

Change in SDS per year (mean ±SD)


2 year

3-5 year

6-9 year

Boys

(n = 25)

(n = 40)

(n = 33)


Weight

-0.17 ±0.11

0.14 ±0.05 a

-0.01 ±0.02


Height

-0.44 ±0.09 b

0.09 ±0.04 c

0.04 ±0.04

Girls

(n = 18)

(n = 48)

(n = 30)


Weight

-0.15 ±0.12

0.16 ±0.05 a

0.08 ±0.06


Height

-0.55 ±0.11 a

0.14 ±0.04 a

0.11 ±0.03 a

Significance of changes (paired t-test):
a P < 0.01;
b P< 0.001;
c P < 0.05.