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Vegan Diets Can Cause Malnutrition In Children

June 07, 2021

Vegan Diets Can Cause Malnutrition In Children

In recent years the vegan diet has been hot, from news articles to Netflix documentaries, many people are buying into this 'sustainable' diet.

Many vegans also force their children to adopt their diet, but at what cost?

This Polish study with children aged 5–10 y (63 vegetarian, 52 vegan, 72 matched omnivores) concluded children on a vegan diet had increased risk of nutritional deficiencies and lower bone mineral content (BMC) and height.

It also concluded the prevalence of depleted iron stores (serum ferritin <15 µg/L) was 12.8% in omnivores, 18.3% in vegetarians, and 30.2% in vegans.

Vegans had lower concentrations of mean RBCs, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and ferritin. Vegetarians did not differ in any of the iron status indicators from the omnivores

Another with 40 kids, with the average age of 3.5, we given a nutritionist planned vegan diet or omnivore diets. Even with nutritionist creating the diets (a luxery most of us don't have) they found "vitamin A insufficiency and border-line sufficient vitamin D" was shown in all vegan participants. 

This meta analysis by a panel of experts from the Scientific Society for Vegetarian Nutrition (SSNV) citing 101 studies concluded:

"Due to the rapid increase in popularity of vegan diets, healthcare providers must be aware of the characteristics of a complete vegan diet in order to advise their patients correctly. Vegan diets restricting energy intake, excluding one or more food groups, not paying attention to critical nutrients or to vitamin D status, and not supplementing vitamin B12 cannot be considered well-balanced, and may have dangerous health consequences."

Meaning, this pro-vegan group admits the only way a vegan diet can be healthy is with copious amounts of supplementation and observation. Most parents are not and can not get regular blood work on their children to monitor their bio markers.

While vegan diets are generally well intentioned, their outcomes can be far from healthy.