• Height and weight data obtained from a 2-year longitudinal survey were analyzed for 2272 children aged 6 through 18 years who were attending public schools or Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) schools in southern California. The SDAs do not use alcohol or tobacco, and many adhere to a lacto-ovovegetarian diet. For both sexes, in each school group, the mean height and weight were at or above national reference values. Age-adjusted regression analysis showed that SDA schoolboys were 1.6 cm taller than public schoolboys. There were no significant differences in height for girls. After controlling for height, boys and girls in the SDA schools were found to be leaner than their public school peers, ie, 1.27 and 1.16 kg, respectively. These results suggest that a health-oriented life-style in childhood and adolescence, such as the one followed by SDAs, is compatible with adequate growth and associated with a lower weight for height.