While there can bebenefits to going veganif you do it right as an adult,there's debate over whether or not it's good for children,especially if parents don't go to great lengths to make sure their kids get enough nutrients.That's why the Forza Italia party in Italy has proposed a law that would send parents who put kids under 16 on vegan diets to jail for at least a year—four years if the kid develops health problems and seven if the child dies.
Those latter scenarios might sound unlikely,but there have beenseveral recent casesof children experiencing stunted growth due to vegan diets,including a one-year-old with the weight of a three-month-old in Milan.Four vegan childrenhave been hospitalized in Italy over the past year and a half due to malnourishment.
"I have nothing against vegans or veganism as long as it is a free choice by adults," Elvira Savino,a parliamentarian behind the law,told Reuters."I just find it absurd that some parents are allowed to impose their will on children in an almost fanatical,religious way,often without proper scientific knowledge or medical consultation."
According to theAmerican Dietetic Association,there isn't too much research on the effect of vegan diets on children.Some studies suggest they tend to be smaller but still within the normal range.While the organization doesn't take a stance against raising children vegan,it does encourage awareness of these children's special dietary needs,including alternative sources of protein and vitamin B-12.