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What does the evidence say about vegan diets in children?

BMJ 2021; 375 doi: (Published 15 November 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n2792
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

As vegan diets gain in popularity, clinicians face an increasing number of questions about their effect on health, especially children’s. Elisabeth Mahase looks for answers

Expert opinion on whether children can stay healthy and follow a vegan diet varies around the world. Although the UK and US dietetic associations say that these diets, when appropriately planned, can meet all nutritional requirements and may even provide health benefits,12 other authorities, such as the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine, do not recommend vegan diets for children, and the Polish Academy of Sciences also advises against vegetarian diets.

But what does the research say? Unfortunately, this is the crux of the problem: there is very little good research on vegan diets in children.

Speaking at a Royal Society of Medicine event on 9 November, Malgorzata Desmond, from …

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