1-year-old raised on ‘strict vegan diet’ hospitalized for malnutrition, taken from parents

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MILAN — An Italian 1-year-old boy being raised on a vegan diet was hospitalized and found to be severely malnourished, Corriere reported.

The child was taken to Milan’s Fatebenefratelli hospital by his grandparents on July 2. Blood tests showed the child was severely malnourished, with a level of calcium doctors described as “the minimum needed to survive.”

At 14 months old, the child only weighed slightly more than a normal 3-month-old would, according to the report.

The child was also suffering from a heart condition that required emergency surgery. The condition was not caused by the child’s diet but his chronic lack of calcium is believed to have aggravated the problem.

After the surgery, concerned medical staff reported the incident to social services after the parents allegedly refused to change the diet they were feeding the child, the report said.

A Milan court ruled that the child will remain in the custody of the Policlinico San Donato hospital, where he underwent the lifesaving surgery, pending further investigation.

“It’s clear the child was being fed a strict vegan diet which was incompatible with his young age,” Judge Ciro Cascone told Corriere. Cascone also said the child’s parents failed to provide him with any dietary supplements.

It is the fourth case of a vegan child being hospitalized in the past 18 months, Italy’s The Local reports.

An article in the Spectator argued last year that it isn’t veganism that harms children — it’s neglectful parenting.

Veganism can give kids all the nutrients they need for healthy growth if done correctly, experts say.