2. Breastfeeding Risks
Scientists recommend that mothers who are able should breastfeed their children. Babies who are breastfed develop healthier immune systems and are less susceptible to conditions like obesity, hypertension, and asthma. Unfortunately, much of this depends on the quality of the mother’s diet. The breast milk of vegetarian mothers lacks vitamin B6 and docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish that’s crucial to the development of a baby’s eyes and brain. According to Nina Planck, author of Real Food: What to Eat and Why, “Babies are built from protein, calcium, cholesterol and fish oil.””
1. Childhood Vegetarian Diet Risks
People who become vegetarians during childhood face challenges unknown to those who begin later in life. A normal meat-saturated diet is rich in micronutrients such as copper and zinc that are essential to development. Copper in particular helps build the body’s resistance against disease. Lacking this, children grow into adults who are more susceptible to disease than their omnivorous counterparts. Studies have shown conclusively that people who are raised to the age of six as vegans are likely to remain deficient in vitamin B12 years after they begin eating meat.