Is it risky for babies to be vegan?

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Third Person Groove
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Is it risky for babies to be vegan?

Post by Third Person Groove » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:40 am

I just read a article called ( Here's why feeding a vegan diet can be risky) by science alert.

They said protein isnt a problem but vitamins and minerals can be even in varied whole foods vegan diets.

Iron, iodine, ccuim, zinc, B12, and vitamin D are all hard to give a 1 year old on a vegan diet since fiber fills you up and they have small stomachs.


If this is true it would mean a vegan diet isn't ideal for this stage of life and the occasional egg or cows milks would give the child what it needs making a veggetarain diet the ideal one for this stage of life. Well that's what the article said. I didn't see any sources besides a study in the Netherlands it mentioned but didn't source it.


Someone please help me I just want to know the truth. Is a vegan diet ideal for all stages of life if it is what exactly should you feed your child. If it's not then exactly why is it not with sources. Thank you!!!

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Post by Lay Vegan » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:07 pm

Yes, a well-balanced vegan diet is heathy and suitable for all stages of life.

https://jandonline.org/article/S2212-26 ... 3/fulltext
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics wrote: It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes.
@brimstoneSalad Can we pin this article in the vegan forum?

Third Person Groove wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:40 am
I just read a article called ( Here's why feeding a vegan diet can be risky) by science alert.

They said protein isnt a problem but vitamins and minerals can be even in varied whole foods vegan diets.
Protein isn't a problem for vegans following a macrobiotic diet (the diet that is being criticized by Science Alert) since they eat higher levels of whole grains and legumes, but vegans who follow other diets do not necessarily consume optimal amounts. It is a very common myth that vegans cannot be protein deficient. https://www.theveganrd.com/vegan-nutrit ... on-primer/
Third Person Groove wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:40 am
If this is true it would mean a vegan diet isn't ideal for this stage of life and the occasional egg or cows milks would give the child what it needs making a veggetarain diet the ideal one for this stage of life. Well that's what the article said. I didn't see any sources besides a study in the Netherlands it mentioned but didn't source it.
Then don't only eat brown rice and water :lol:

Unfortunately, that particular article was hidden behind a paywall, but the children in the Netherlands study were fed a strict plant-based macrobiotic diet, which consisted mainly of whole-grains and vegetables. There is little scientific evidence to support this kind of rice and veggie diet, and it’s clear that this is not a well-balanced diet.

In fact, I’m not sure what this particular study has to do with veganism, and the word “vegan” doesn’t even appear in the abstract. This is only one particular kind of restrictive diet, and there are lots of other ways to eat vegan. It would be incredibly near-sighted to assume that vegan children are incapable of eating anything besides rice and veggies.
Third Person Groove wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:40 am
Iron, iodine, ccuim, zinc, B12, and vitamin D are all hard to give a 1 year old on a vegan diet since fiber fills you up and they have small stomachs.
If a child’s growth is within the normal limits and he or she is eating a variety of foods, it’s not likely that excess fiber is something to be concerned about. If fiber is something of concern, then the child could be fed a higher combination of low-fiber foods like refined grains and peeled fruits and vegetables.

Iodine, calcium, zinc, B12, and D are all nutrients of concern for vegetarians, but nutrient needs can be met through a healthy consumption of fortified foods and dietary supplements. It's important to note that plant milks are generally not suitable replacements for cows milk. In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics considers soy-based formula safe for term infants.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11424545

https://veganhealth.org/pregnancy-infan ... ren/#fiber


The short answer is that well-balanced vegan diets can work for children, but as always, it is important to consult with a dietitian if you have concerns.

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Post by Third Person Groove » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:39 pm

Thank you!!! Any advice on where to find a good dietitian???


@layvegan

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Post by carnap » Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:46 am

There is very little research on the impact of vegan diets on infants and toddlers or child development in general. Also I would point out that there is a difference between "diet X can work" and "diet X is ideal". Many children are raised on highly processed diets with poor nutrient intake and that "works" in the sense that they are living and growing but its hardly "ideal". Its also important to be specific about the type of vegan diet, "vegan diet" is a broad class of diets.

For example one issue that isn't well researched is whether infants or toddlers benefit from dietary cholesterol. Their livers are immature so may not synthesize optimal amounts of cholesterol and human breast milk contains cholesterol which hints at them benefiting from it. Traditionally humans would breast feed until the child was 3 or so but people rarely do that in modern societies. In the west people switch from breast milk (or formula) around 12 months to whole cow's milk but that is obviously not possible with vegan diets. A vegan infant/toddler in the west will either have a cholesterol free diet at birth (i.e., use of soy formula) or prior to one when the mother stops breast feeding.

So whether you think its "risky" depends on your perspective. Personally I'd suggest they are risky for this group because there is a fundamental lack of research. Children are also far more sensitive to problems in their diet than adults, that is, poor nutrition even in the short-term can have lasting impacts on their health where as that typically isn't the case for adults.
I'm here to exploit you schmucks into demonstrating the blatant anti-intellectualism in the vegan community and the reality of veganism. But I can do that with any user name.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:35 pm

^ Please ignore our resident fear-monger. Carnap is an anti-vegan of the cherry picking variety who indefinitely moves the goal posts, demanding impossible levels of endless research to prove vegan diets are OK (something actual professionals understand is not necessary), while denying the risks of feeding animal products (likewise something without the infinite number of controlled studies to prove safe).

Our bodies need certain nutrients, not certain sources of nutrients. That much has been proved beyond any reasonable doubt. And we have good data on adequate levels from things like TPN.
There is also extensive research on the outcomes of soy based formulas that prove it's perfectly adequate for infants.
Skeptics have nothing left but to fear monger over undetectable differences and wild speculation.

Maybe the soy vs. milk formula have the same IQ results, but some other not yet invented IQ test would surely be better and prove soy inferior!
We can say that about anything.

In fact, the vegan children were smarter and new future IQ tests will prove it!

And the Bible said people used to live hundreds of years before animal products, and the only reason current day vegans don't is because we're still epigenetically poisoned by animal products our parents and grandparents ate.
We have to wait 3-4 generations of pure vegan before we have proof that animal products aren't poisoning the human race and denying us true health. Until then we can't say animal products are safe even in minute amounts.
Silly? Yeah, but equally plausible to the fear mongering claims of these anti-vegans.

These people will spout nonsense in whatever directions their biases lead them, but they don't bring any evidence to the table, just paranoia and conspiracy theories.

@Lay Vegan What did you want to pin? I don't think I can just make/pin a link.
You can make a new thread and pin it with just that link in it if you want? (I think you have the ability to do that)

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Post by carnap » Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:20 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:35 pm
^ Please ignore our resident fear-monger. Carnap is an anti-vegan of the cherry picking variety who indefinitely moves the goal posts, demanding impossible levels of endless research to prove vegan diets are OK (something actual professionals understand is not necessary), while denying the risks of feeding animal products (likewise something without the infinite number of controlled studies to prove safe).
As usual you're trying to attack and insult me rather then address the topic. Do you really believe that is going to put any parent at ease? But this is just a diversion from the facts I discussed, namely, currently we don't have any good studies on the impact of vegan diets on child development. Its not that we don't have "endless research" or perfect studies but rather that there is a fundamental lack of research on the topic.

And I've never denied well established health issues with specific animal products.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:35 pm
Our bodies need certain nutrients, not certain sources of nutrients. That much has been proved beyond any reasonable doubt.
This claim would be meaningful if you could magically materialize nutrients in your body but alas.....you cannot. The source of nutrients matters greatly because it impacts how nutrients are absorbed and metabolized. Additionally foods have impacts on your health above and beyond the essential nutrients they contain. You can have a diet that is nutritionally complete yet unhealthy.
I'm here to exploit you schmucks into demonstrating the blatant anti-intellectualism in the vegan community and the reality of veganism. But I can do that with any user name.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:18 pm

carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:20 am
But this is just a diversion from the facts I discussed, namely, currently we don't have any good studies on the impact of vegan diets on child development.
We do have studies on the issue which are adequate to assuage fears on the topic for any reasonable person, including professional dietitians and medical professionals.

That we have not experimented on children by dividing them up into randomized groups and controlling their diets for years is beyond the point.

Vegan children are healthy, and as long as they eat a nutritionally adequate diet (and sometimes even if they don't, given the flexibility of human nutrition) they're fine. The only issues come up with extreme deficiencies like no B-12 supplement or being fed almond milk instead of nutritious formula or breast milk.

All infants and babies should be on breast milk or formula. Period.
Once they're older, and under supervision from a pediatrician to check for growth markers, they should be able to follow their parents' diets as long as their parents are long-term evidence respecting vegans with no health issues.

Otherwise, if they are new vegans who may not know how to eat properly, or they don't believe in supplements, etc. yeah it would be safer to consult a dietitian for special help or feed them "vegetarian" animal products since it's a little harder to mess up if the kids are eating dairy and/or eggs.

The question there is only parental competence, not whether a properly planned vegan diet with supplements is adequate. The latter is insane science denialist fear mongering.
carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:20 am
And I've never denied well established health issues with specific animal products.
You do, and you do it by claiming (erroneously) that they aren't well established. But you also deny more speculative issues on animal products (which are fair to deny) but while fear mongering on the same level of speculation or worse with respect to veganism (which is not fair).

We aren't interested in your speculative fear mongering. If you'd stop doing that you'd find yourself better received. We all KNOW your position on the issue. You can give it a rest.

carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:20 am
The source of nutrients matters greatly because it impacts how nutrients are absorbed and metabolized.
There are slight differences in absorption which are well known from research into substandard diets in the developing world. We know which nutrients are of concern, and we understand pretty well what affects absorption. E.g. with non-heme iron sources and oxalates etc.
It has also been shown that people substantially adapt to plant sources.

However, these are cautions dietitians already account for.
Vegans may need to eat a little extra of these nutrients, that's all. This is well known. That's part of a properly planned vegan diet.
carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:20 am
Additionally foods have impacts on your health above and beyond the essential nutrients they contain. You can have a diet that is nutritionally complete yet unhealthy.
Much in the way animal products do. Plant foods tend to do the opposite: offering helpful, rather than deleterious, non-essential nutrients.

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Post by carnap » Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:32 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:18 pm
We do have studies on the issue which are adequate to assuage fears on the topic for any reasonable person, including professional dietitians and medical professionals.
We do? By all means cite the studies.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:18 pm
That we have not experimented on children by dividing them up into randomized groups and controlling their diets for years is beyond the point.
That would be ideal but that isn't going to happen, but we lack even good observational studies that have tracked infants raised on vegan diets to a reference population. There are are couple of small old studies but they only measured basic features like growth rates but even these found differences, for example, the "farm study" found that the vegetarian children had different growth patterns and ended up a bit shorter. Now the bit shorter height is not necessarily an issue but it does raise questions about other potential differences (e.g., cognitive) and there haven't been any follow-up studies.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:18 pm
Vegan children are healthy, and as long as they eat a nutritionally adequate diet (and sometimes even if they don't, given the flexibility of human nutrition) they're fine. The only issues come up with extreme deficiencies like no B-12 supplement or being fed almond milk instead of nutritious formula or breast milk.
That is an assertion, an assertion that needs to be supported by research.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:18 pm
All infants and babies should be on breast milk or formula. Period.
Once they're older, and under supervision from a pediatrician to check for growth markers, they should be able to follow their parents' diets as long as their parents are long-term evidence respecting vegans with no health issues.
What parents should and shouldn't be able to do is another sort of topic. Free societies afford parents a lot of liberty in how they raise their children even in cases where the actions are known to be harmful. For example giving kids hot-dogs is allowed despite the fact that we have strong evidence that hot-dogs promote some cancers.

In any case, infants should be exclusively breast fed until 4 to 6 months (there are varying recommendations). Milk-based formula is recommended when breast feeding is not possible and soy formula is only recommended when there is an allergy or parental objection. But we know formula has worse outcomes than breast feeding which, incidentally, negates your theme of " essential nutrients only matter". Formula is nutritionally complete yet its associated with worse health outcomes, somewhat lower IQ, etc.

Additionally the research on formula has been conducted on non-vegan infants, that is relevant because these infants will start to supplement breast-milk with animal based foods starting between 4~8 months. Therefore you cannot extrapolate this research to vegan infants on soy formula until 1 and then vegan foods beyond. Here the lack of dietary cholesterol, some conditionally essential amino acids, etc may have health consequences due to the immaturity of infant and toddler organs.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:18 pm
You do, and you do it by claiming (erroneously) that they aren't well established. But you also deny more speculative issues on animal products (which are fair to deny) but while fear mongering on the same level of speculation or worse with respect to veganism (which is not fair).
By all means, give an example of me denying a well accepted health risk with animal products.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:18 pm
There are slight differences in absorption which are well known from research into substandard diets in the developing world. We know which nutrients are of concern, and we understand pretty well what affects absorption. E.g. with non-heme iron sources and oxalates etc.
Slight differences? On the contrary the differences can be dramatic, some compounds can almost completely inhibit the absorption of nutrients. We certainly know how some compounds impact absorption but this is still an area of active research and it also negates the idea you're presenting. You don't eat isolated nutrients injected with magic, you eat food and those foods have various impacts on your body. Absorption issues are just one of many examples of such issues.

In the case of parents, most parents don't just want to know whether the diet is "nutritionally complete" but rather its going to promote optimal cognitive and physical development.
I'm here to exploit you schmucks into demonstrating the blatant anti-intellectualism in the vegan community and the reality of veganism. But I can do that with any user name.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Tue Dec 25, 2018 10:37 pm

carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:32 pm
We do? By all means cite the studies.
I have, others have also. You're like a creationist demanding transitional fossils. You don't want to believe it, so you deny the evidence.
No amount of evidence is going to be convincing to somebody set on being anti-vegan. It's enough for professionals and it should be enough for ANY reasonable person. It's futile to attempt to convince somebody so set on being against veganism like that.

It's clear that you do not and will never accept any amount of evidence. So stop asking for more as if you would accept something.

The repetition of this same thing is what's irritating. At this point you're just spamming the forum with these repeated demands with moving goal posts. It's dishonest, and I think we're done with it at this point.

@Lay Vegan What do you think?

carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:32 pm
That would be ideal but that isn't going to happen
No, it would be unnecessary. That's like saying it would be ideal to follow every single supernatural claim of ghosts and see if there's anything to them. That's what people who believe in these things want. No, it wouldn't be ideal, it would be a waste of time and money because there's no reason to expect there would be anything to them and there's not a shred of evidence suggesting there's even a phenomena there to explore.

We don't need that information to conclude ghosts don't exist. No honest person needs that information to be convinced that ghosts don't exist. Some people might need a little primer on epistemology, but nobody needs that level of evidence to be convinced. People who claim they do need the evidence simply will not be convinced by any amount of evidence (even if you miraculously gave it to them).

That's the point of street epistemology: https://streetepistemology.com/

It's not actually about evidence for these people. They don't want evidence, and demands for it are a red herring.
That's why I normally stop at pointing out statements from governmental and professional organizations: that should be enough for any sensible person.
carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:32 pm
Now the bit shorter height is not necessarily an issue but it does raise questions about other potential differences (e.g., cognitive) and there haven't been any follow-up studies.
Increased height correlates to calorie excess and obesity. As there is an epidemic of childhood obesity, vegan children being a little smaller is more likely to be a good thing. Size doesn't really correlate to cognitive differences; the Flynn effect faded before the modern obesity epidemic.

There would be no reason to expect there are any issues when it's clearly explained by lower BMI.
We also already know that vegetarians have a bit higher IQ than non-vegetarians so there's again no reason to expect that. Some of that has to do with more intelligent people being more likely to stop eating meat, but the point is that no evidence actually suggests that's a concern, and again professionals are not concerned.

You're just spreading concern because you're an anti-vegan fear monger. No amount of evidence will ever convince you.
carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:32 pm
What parents should and shouldn't be able to do is another sort of topic.
Not what I was talking about.
carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:32 pm
But we know formula has worse outcomes than breast feeding
No we don't. Just more fear mongering. Formula is likely superior to breast milk in many ways once corrected for major socioeconomic confounding variables (for example, its iron content).
carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:32 pm
Additionally the research on formula has been conducted on non-vegan infants, that is relevant because these infants will start to supplement breast-milk with animal based foods starting between 4~8 months.
It's still relevant. Not only is that a long time for infants who grow very quickly, they receive very little nutrition from supplemental foods until quite a bit later. There are some kids who are big eaters early on, but there's no evidence that meat is needed at these times.
carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:32 pm
Here the lack of dietary cholesterol, some conditionally essential amino acids, etc may have health consequences due to the immaturity of infant and toddler organs.
Again, there's no evidence of that, you're just fear mongering and spreading false information (like your claims that breast feeding is superior to formula).
carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:32 pm
some compounds can almost completely inhibit the absorption of nutrients.
:roll: Compounds in foods that are rarely or never eaten. We produce what we do, agriculturally, for a reason.
Foods that pose nutritional risk are pretty well documented due to their consumption in developing countries and during famines.
It is possible for people to consume very odd diets that hold additional nutritional risk, but they're also very likely to have other side effects (like kidney stones) which will manifest. Likewise, a carnivore and mistakenly consume polar bear liver and kill his or herself.
carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:32 pm
In the case of parents, most parents don't just want to know whether the diet is "nutritionally complete" but rather its going to promote optimal cognitive and physical development.
And it's a fairy tale that parents are after; the idea that any diet is going to be proved optimal when there's no evidence that anything beyond adequate has an effect, unless you're overtly poisoning your kids.

Even hot dogs aren't going to harm childhood development as long as the sodium isn't out of hand until the kidneys are functional (now when they get older, the DNA damage from the carcinogens *might* catch up with them, but that's another issue and one that says more about animal products in general than plant products).

Beyond simple nutritional adequacy and avoiding obesity/getting enough physical activity the most important factors for childhood development are avoiding harmful infectious diseases and having a consistent and loving caregiver to interact with. The idea that parents are on the hook to seek out some kind of perfect diet for their children on pain of having failed them in reaching their potential is toxic.

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Post by Lay Vegan » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:14 am

@brimstoneSalad

I have no interest in interacting with Carnap.

Discussion with them would necessarily digress into a discussion about scientific consensus and a contention on basic facts/concepts that are undisputed by nutrition experts. Carnap even goes as far to deny that dietetic organizations are legit authorities on the topic. He or she has also made other silly assertions, such as that claim that plants respond to operant conditioning.

Having a rational discussion with Carnap about vegan nutrition/ethics is like trying to have a discussion about the solar system with a flat-Earther; there’s no foundation from which to progress. If we could reach some common ground by recognizing our own limitations as laypeople, and stop seeing consensus as some conspiratorial argument from authority, then perhaps discussion could be fruitful.

Here’s an interesting passage from Rational Wiki about this:

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Scientific_consensus
RationaWiki wrote: Portraying scientific consensus as a form of majoritarian rule is hilarious for two reasons:

1. The scientific community has the inherent role of keeping a check on popularly-held (either right or wrong) opinions.

2. If one study proves correct despite mainstream academic thought, it will eventually become the new consensus.
Another helpful article from Slate Star:
http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/04/17/le ... consensus/

Carnap's accusations that we are "appealing to authority" by citing a handful of dietetic organizations is frankly quite stupid, since these organizations enforce rigorous methods (like the peer-review process) to vet academic research and keep even "authoritarian" ideas in check. I've had SERIOUS disagreements with Às Ba Le Ciel on Twitter about this very topic.

Normally, I’d have no problem debating someone who’s values are antithetical to my own, but as with any other science denier, the skills needed to change Carnap’s mind are beyond my own ability.

Sorry. :? :?

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