Childhood obesity is one of the countries biggest issues. Nearly a third of children aged 2 to 15 are overweight or obese, and our NHS is struggling as a result. Yet, the media and certain nutritionists still seem to focus on the 110,000 vegan children within the UK (aged under 16).
‘The British Dietetic Association and the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognise that well-planned vegan diets can support healthy living in people of all ages.’
– Heather Russell, a dietician at the Vegan Society
Despite obesity being one of the biggest health issues to face British children, the nutritionist uses the fact that vegan children are leaner than their meat-eating counterparts as a negative.
Obese and overweight children are likely to remain obese for a longer period of time than obese adults, with their risk of premature death DOUBLED as a result of their weight.
It, therefore, seems absurd that so much attention is given to the diet of vegan children. By simply ensuring that your vegan diet includes vitamin B12, calcium, zinc and high-quality protein, you eradicate any risks of malnutrition.
These are all easily accessible nutrients and needn’t be an issue at all. Dieticians have stated time and time again that a vegan diet is perfectly healthy for people of all ages, and lower the chances of obesity. So why is there still so much focus on the possibilities of a vegan diet going wrong, when the reality of obesity is already so prevalent in our society?
Professor Fewtrell, however, claims that;
The risks of getting it wrong can include irreversible cognitive damage and, in the extreme, death.
I’m yet to see a case of a vegan child in the UK dying as a result of this ‘irreversible cognitive damage’, yet constantly see overweight children who are heading towards a life of ill health.
Children are more overweight than ever before, and we are also consuming more meat than ever before. While 50 years ago it may have been a treat to be enjoyed now and again, children are now consuming it up to three times a day. The real threat to our children’s health is not veganism, it is obesity.