Parents who force their children to eat a vegan diet could face prison under a proposed new law in Italy.
Forza Italia MP Elvira Savino wants parents who give children under the age of 16 a diet “lacking essential elements for a healthy growth” to spend up to two years in prison, the UK Telegraph reports.
The centre-right politician put forward the proposal as a means to protect minors from “radicalised” parents after Italy saw an increase in adults adopting vegetarian and vegan diets.
She believes vegan diets leave children lacking qualities of iron, zinc and B12.
Under the proposed law, parents would face up to one year behind bars and up to two and a half years if the vegan diet leads to their child “getting permanently sick or hurt”.
If a child given a vegan diet was to die, their parent may face up to six years behind bars.
Ms Savino’s proposal follows a number of cases in which young children were found to be malnourished because of a poor vegan diet.
Last month, a 14-month-old baby was taken to hospital with the expected weight of a three-month-old.
It emerged he had been subjected to a vegan diet, leaving him dangerously malnourished and with low calcium levels.
A healthy vegan diet
Vegans – exclude red meat, offal, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products. Obtain protein from beans, legumes, pulses, nuts and soy products like tofu.
To make sure your child gets enough of all the nutrients needed for a growing child, their diet must include:
•Protein alternatives such as nuts, legumes and tofu
•Energy for growth and development
•Iron to prevent anaemia
•Vitamin D and calcium to prevent bone disease
•Suitable fats from non-meat sources
•Food in the correct form and combination to make sure nutrients can be digested and absorbed.
•Vegans, use non-dairy milks e.g. soya milk that are fortified with calcium, vitamin D2 and vitamin B12
•Spread breads with avocado, or seed/nut butters to increase calories
More info available on The Vegan Society page.
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