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Does fasting affect children differently than adults?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Usually, fasting is not recommended for children. Children are more vulnerable when fasting because of their smaller size and increased metabolic needs. Even most spiritualities and religions that practice fasting make exceptions for them. In fact, one of the reasons that newborn babies wake up and eat in the middle of the night is because they do not have enough stored glycogen to make it through the night without consuming more nutrients. In cases of medical testing or surgery, however, fasting may be necessary, even for small children. Sometimes, an emphasis on fasting and weight loss in children can lead to problems later on, like anorexia nervosa.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.