Risk of nutritional rickets among vegetarian children

Am J Dis Child. 1979 Feb;133(2):134-40. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1979.02130020024004.


Records of the dietary intake of 52 preschool vegetarian children seen from 1974 to 1976 revealed that macrobiotic vegetarian diets provided amounts of vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus that were marginal as well as less than the amounts provided by other vegetarian diets. Vitamin D supplements were rarely given. Two subjects had roentgenographic evidence of rickets. The medical histories of 32 children on macrobiotic diets who were examined in 1977 more frequently included prior physical and roentgenographic findings indicative of rickets, whereas those of 17 other vegetarian children did not. Children in the former group were more likely to have elevated levels of serum alkaline phosphatase. Two additional cases of rickets in children consuming a macrobiotic diet confirmed by roentgenograms were brought to our attention during the study.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Boston
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet, Vegetarian*
  • Eating
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Radiography
  • Records
  • Rickets / diagnostic imaging
  • Rickets / drug therapy
  • Rickets / etiology*
  • Risk
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / etiology


  • Vitamin D