Now, only a complete madman – or more likely, madwoman – would voluntarily forgo eating meat in the first place, but it is downright evil to deny growing children the sustenance necessary for their full development. If a plant-based diet is inhibiting their height to this extent, imagine how much it is inhibiting their intellectual capacity.
Vegans cut out all animal products, including dairy, eggs and even honey. But there is little evidence on the potential damage this does to children’s health.
Lead author Professor Jonathan Wells, from UCL, said: ‘We know that people are increasingly being drawn to plant-based diets for several reasons, including promoting animal welfare and reducing our impact on the climate.
‘Indeed, a global shift towards plant-based diets is now recognised to be crucial for preventing climate breakdown, and we strongly support this effort.
‘We also know that until now research into the health impact of these diets on children has been largely limited to assessments of height and weight and conducted only in vegetarian children.
‘Our study provides a substantial insight into the health outcomes in children following vegetarian and vegan diets.’
The new study looked at 187 healthy five to ten-year-olds in Poland. Of these, 63 children were vegetarians, 52 vegans and 72 omnivores.
Children on vegan diets were on average three centimetres shorter. They also had four to six per cent lower bone mineral content and were more than three times more likely to be deficient in vitamin B-12 than omnivores.
For lunch today, I’ll be having pepper sausage and bufalo mozzerella, washed down by a good Spanish tempranillo. Just in case….