Foreign Affairs
Is a vegan diet suitable for children?

According to Belgian doctors from the Royal Academy of Medicine, children, adolescents, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not follow a vegan diet.

It is estimated that three percent of Belgian children are vegans,and as such exclude from their diet meat, eggs, dairy products and other animal-based ingredients.

The diet is restrictive, as it lacks nutritional food, and if one is not careful, can lead to health problems.

The opinions of the Belgian doctors had been sought by a representative of a national human rights organisation, with the aim of guiding pediatricians and healthcare workers.

The Royal Academy of Medicine functions as an advisory agency to Belgian Government institutions.

Not everyone seems to have agreed with these opinions. The British Dietetic Association and the US Academy for Nurtition and Diet say properly planned diets based on vegetables and avoiding animal products can be beneficial to health and to disease prevention.

A group of vegetarians had got together in 1944 to create the vegan diet. Recent studies about the mpact of different diets have shown that a vegan diet can reduce deaths by about eight million by the year 2050.

 

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