The English Disease
June 10, 2008 1:31 PM Subscribe
Vegan girl, 12, 'has spine of 80-year-old.'
posted by three blind mice (237 comments total)
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The youngster, fed on a strict meat- and dairy-free diet from birth, is being treated at Edinburgh's Royal Hospital for Sick Children
. She is said to have a severe form of rickets
and to have suffered a number of fractured bones.Rickets has been making a comeback in the UK especially in Asian immigrants
. With a mainly vegetarian diet, Asians are much more likely to be calcium deficient; and their darker pigmented skin, designed to cope with sunnier climates, also dramatically reduces the amount of vitamin D they can absorb from the UK's much weaker sunlight.
Vegans usually obtain vitamin D
from the action of sunlight on the skin or by taking fortified foods and vitamin supplements which are made from yeast or other fungi.
There are concerns
that the child's parents. well-known figures in the vegan community, put their own beliefs before the girl's welfare.
Professor Tom Sanders, head of nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London, warned that while most vegan parents give their children vitamin and mineral supplements, there was a core of hardliners putting their children’s health at risk.
He said: “Some of them think we’re still monkeys that can live on fruit and nuts.”