Another story attacking vegan diets rather than poor nutrition has proven the need for much more work educating health professionals who have such a limited knowledge of basic nutrition.
Lindsay Allen, of the US Agricultural Research Service, attacked vegan parents and falsely suggested that Animal source foods have some essential nutrients not found anywhere else, at a Washington science conference.
"There's absolutely no question that it's unethical for parents to bring up their children as strict vegans," she said at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting.
Years and years of lobbying and propaganda by the meat and dairy industry still fly in the face of evidence that proves a vegan diet can be one of the healthiest around and even add an extra 10 years of healthy living to the life of an average westerner.
There are hundreds of studies that prove the average meat eater would benefit greatly from moving towards a vegan diet.
The American Dietetic Association agree “Well-planned vegan diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle”
See full abstract - Position of The American Dietetic Association on Vegan Diets
"Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Vegetarian diets offer a number of nutritional benefits, including lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein as well as higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals."
The story featured by The BBC follows other misleading stories blaming vegan diets rather than poor nutrition. One story claimed veganism was responsible for a rise in rickets rather than a lack of sunshine and another badly researched story claimed “vegan parents” had killed their baby by feeding it nothing but cod liver oil (neither vegans nor vegetarians eat fish)
Top vegetarian nutrition expert Yvonne Bishop-Weston BSc Dip ION says ”the problem is there are good and bad possibilities with every diet it is not the vegan diet that is to blame it’s simply poor nutrition – all the key nutrients are easily available in a vegan diet”
“Some health professionals will claim that vegetarian women have low iron when the truth is MOST women have low iron levels. The western diets generally, not vegan diets, are often low in iron, selenium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin c, vitamin B12 or essential fats such as omega 3”
Nutrition Consultant and author Yvonne Bishop-Weston BSc Dip ION won an award for her research on “Essential Fatty Acid Status in Vegan Women and Implications in Pregnancy” She says that “big baby sizes often aren’t the best marker for long term health that they are thought to be.”
Bishop says “There’s no reason why with a bit of planning and ensuring a good sources of essential fats, especially omega 3, that vegan babies can’t grow up to be among the healthiest and smartest people on the planet. There is still some research needed on cognitive function to prove this to the sceptics but the evidence is already stacked up.”