Experts conclude Belgian doctors were wrong: Vegan diets ARE suitable for children – Totally Vegan Buzz

Experts conclude Belgian doctors were wrong: Vegan diets ARE suitable for children

Vegan diets ARE suitable for children
Image: Photographee.eu on Shutterstock

A group of health experts have concluded that advice given by Belgian doctors was incorrect, and that vegan diets are perfectly suitable for children.

The team of health professionals and doctors of science was formed after the publication of the ‘alarmist opinion’ of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium (RAMB) on vegan diets.

In a statement sent to Totally Vegan Buzz, the group explained: “The conclusions of this collective are unanimous: the opinion of the RAMB is unfounded and constitutes misinformation. 

“On the contrary, the collective believe that a well-planned and balanced vegan diet is beneficial for health at all stages of life.”

On May 16, the RAMB gave advice which prohibits a vegan diet for children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating women.

A separate group of Belgian doctors have gathered to respond. They analysed one by one the studies on which the opinion of the RAMB is based in its two successive reports against vegan diets.

 Contradiction

“The sources cited by the academy, which are sometimes out of scope, contradict its own conclusions,” the group concluded. 

Among the more than 40 references used by the RAMB, only two German sources, more reserved, encourage caution and regular follow-up of patients following a vegan diet. Surprisingly, the other sources cited by the RAMB actually conclude that a well-planned and balanced vegan diet is beneficial for health at all stages of life, the doctors explained.

As part of an extensive literature review, these physicians have added nearly 40 references that were neglected by the RAMB. 

All the conclusions addressed to the academy are detailed in an 12-page report, drawn from a total of 83 sources. These conclusions have quickly attracted international support: the report has been signed by more than 100 health professionals and doctors of science from 13 different countries. The full report can be found here: www.reponseARMB.com

‘Lack of education’

“This group also regrets the lack of education and knowledge on nutrition issues within the medical community, particularly on plant-based nutrition,” the doctors said.

“This is evidenced by an American study that highlights significant gaps in nutritional education for cardiologists, and by a study conducted by the University of Milan within a large sample of health professionals.”

The two spokespersons of the collective, Dr Lamprini Risos and Dr Catherine Devillers, specify: “We created this group to restore scientific truth as no vegan structure existed in Belgium.

“In medicine, we rely on the recommendations of scientific societies, which in turn are based on high quality epidemiological literature. However, the RAMB rejects the official positions of international scientific associations which act as authorities in the field of nutrition. The first RAMB report only cited 13 references.

“It was only after receiving criticism from international scientific societies that it published a clarification with an additional 30 references, but always drawing conclusions contrary to those of its sources. We have dismantled its misinterpretations step by step and added another 40 or so references to enrich our report with an abundance of literature.

“Furthermore, the academy denies the excellent health of thousands of vegan children worldwide and focuses only on isolated cases of child neglect attributed to the vegan diet.”

Have you faced backlash for raising a child on a vegan diet? Share your experiences in the comments section below!

Published by Oli Gross

Oli’s career and personal ethical values both help shape his reporting of the diverse world of veganism. His background is in local newspaper and magazine journalism, and his work has included reporting court cases, celebrity interviews, business analysis, food and drink features and government legislation.

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