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vegan diet children

Want your child to be short and have weak bones? Vegan diets can stunt development, according to 2021 study.

A recent study has revealed that a vegan diet is one of the best ways to ruin your child’s physical development.

Sorry, kiddo, if your parents are feeding you a vegan diet, you may never be tall enough to ride. You’d better hope the playground has padding too.

A new study has revealed that children raised on vegan diets are over an inch shorter and have weaker bones than the average. The study provides yet further evidence that plant-based diets are far from optimal for human health, despite the claims made by their advocates. 

We recently discussed a worldwide study which shows clearly that animal proteins are superior for male growth.

Vegan Diet Dreadful for Kids

vegan diet children

The study was conducted by University College London’s Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. As a result of the study, the Institute issued a warning to parents about the potential dangers of malnutrition for children made to eat vegan diets, and suggested that vegan children should undertake long-term supplementation with vitamins B12 and D.

The new study looked at 187 healthy five to ten-year-olds in Poland. Of these, 63 children were vegetarians, 52 vegans and 72 omnivores.

Children on vegan diets were three centimetres shorter on average. They also had 4-6% lower bone mineral content and were more than three times as likely to be deficient in vitamin B-12 than omnivores.

Co-author, Professor Mary Fewtrell added: ‘Maximizing bone health in children is recommended with the aim of reducing future osteoporosis and fracture risk.

We found that vegan children had lower bone mass even after accounting for their smaller body and bone size. This means they may enter adolescence, a phase when bone-specific nutrient needs are higher, with a bone deficit already established. 

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If such deficits are caused by a diet that persists into adolescence, this might increase the risk of adverse bone outcomes later in life.’

The authors noted that the vegan diets did at least contain less processed food than the other diets. 

Co-author Dr Małgorzata Desmond said: ‘[The vegan children’s] lower intakes of protein, calcium, and vitamins B12 and D may explain their less favourable bone mineral and serum vitamin concentrations.

‘We were initially surprised by the poor cardiovascular health profile of the vegetarian children, but their dietary data showed that they were eating a relatively processed type of plant-based diet, with less healthy levels of fibre and sugars compared to the vegans.’ 

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Readers may not be surprised by the findings of the study. We certainly weren’t. The unsuitability of vegan diets for children is obvious. Even so, that hasn’t stopped parents from enforcing strict vegan diets on their children, sometimes with tragic results.

Some readers may recall the shocking case of a vegan couple in Sweden who were jailed in 2019 when their baby was found nearly starved to death. The 18-month old child had been raised on a diet of breast milk, brown rice and potatoes since birth. When discovered, it was in a critical condition and unresponsive. According to doctors, the child was just hours from death.

The parents, who called themselves ‘nomads’, lived an itinerant existence, and the baby had not been registered with the authorities. They claimed the baby had been suffering from food allergies and illness.

‘According to their ideological belief that the daughter was a citizen of the world, her parents did not even report the birth to any authority, have her checked at a paediatric centre, or even weigh or measure her growth,’ a written statement said. 

The parents were sentenced for gross negligence causing bodily harm.

A similar case occurred in Florida in the same year, when a couple were charged with murder for causing the death by starvation of their 18-month-old son, who was fed only raw fruit and vegetables. Two other children were in a similarly malnourished state. A fourth child was in a healthier state because she spent part of the time living elsewhere, with her biological father.
Ryan O'Leary, 30

Sheila O¿Leary, 35

Sheila O’Leary and Ryan O’Leary from Florida were charged with murder in the starvation death of their 18-month-old son 

An autopsy later found that the toddler succumbed to conditions associated with starvation, including dehydration, a liver disorder and swelling of the hands and feet.

Unfortunately, there are many more cases like these.

Despite mounting evidence, the clamour for the global population to switch to plant-based diets is likely to grow louder in coming months and years. In fact, as a recent study showed, advocates are already realising that health and taste claims will not be the most effective way to get people to switch to plant-based diets.

Instead, social pressure is increasingly becoming the model for those who would see animal-based agriculture go the way of the dinosaurs. Oatly’s ‘help dad’ campaign, in which ‘enlightened’ teenagers shame their fathers over drinking cow’s milk, is one notable instance of the shame-based model of advertising. 

Expert more not less of this as the evidence mounts that plant-based diets are far from optimal for your health.

Low-fat vegetarian diets have been shown to be the worst possible diet for male testosterone levels.
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