Earlier this week, in Milan, Italy, a 14-month-old baby was brought to a hospital with a severe case of malnutrition, as well as a congenital heart disorder. The baby, who had been put on a strict vegan diet by his parents, had the body weight of a 3-month-old.
The baby’s grandparents were the ones to bring him to the hospital. Doctors reported the dreadful state of the child to social services and the local authorities. Pending a brief investigation, the parents have lost all custodial rights of their child as they were declared legally unfit.
The Perils Of The Vegan Diet And Neglect
Most Western European countries consider the vegan diet in infants to be a successful trend. Medical specialists believe that babies can grow up quite healthy while on a vegan diet if they receive the additional supplements they need.
In the case of the Italian family, their malnourished baby did not receive any vegan supplements. The congenital heart disease, the reason why he was taken to the hospital in the first place, proved to be a huge issue with the doctors. The low calcium levels in the child’s system did not allow doctors to safely perform the necessary procedures.
The baby is currently still in the hospital, where medical specialists are seeing that he receives all the necessary supplements his body needs. Doctors believe the infant will recover, with potentially no great health drawbacks. The recovery process will, however, be quite lengthy as the child is still in a very frail condition.
Several cases of parental neglect were present in the media in the past years to the point where the media is putting the vegan diet in the worst possible light. The diet itself is truthfully not that dreadful. It was designed by licensed dieticians with orthopedic backgrounds or specialties.
Apart from these several unfortunate cases, the vegan diet does prove effective and healthy, in the case of many children. The diet, however, does require a lot more work than similar eating regimens. Supplements are an important part of the vegan diet and they are in no way optional.
While the media continues to spread the misinformation that the vegan diet is unhealthy, the truth is far more simple – neglect among parents who choose the vegan diet for their children is more common.
Image Courtesy of Wikipedia.