Should Vegan Parents Be Sent to Jail?

A proposed law in Italy is pressing to incarcerate vegan parents who impose their strict food restrictions on their young children. But should parents really head to jail for cutting animal products from their kids diets?

Watch: Veganism for Weight Loss? 

The proposed law would hold parents legally responsible for feeding their children a "diet devoid of elements essential for healthy and balanced growth," and suggests jail sentences of 1 year for raising the child vegan, and up to 7 years if the child dies as a result of the diet. ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork says, "Personally, I'm shocked. I've never heard of anything like this." 

The lawmaker is a concerned mom who believes pediatricians should report vegan parents to authorities just as they would if they noticed signs of physical abuse on a child. This law directly targets vegan parents as opposed to other types of diets and or neglect or abuse. 

"There are a lot of different ways to eat, many of which can be healthy but if you do eat a restricted diet you just need to know what you're doing," adds Dr. Stork. Breast specialist Dr. Kristi Funk says, "You have to know what you're omitting from the diet that you then somehow have to supplement." 

Funk also points out that it's been shown in some studies that 92% of vegans are low or deficient in vitamin B12 because it's not really found in plant based diets. As long as parents are aware, they can get their children the missing nutrition they may not be getting directly from the foods in their diet. 

Watch: Vegan Mom Charged with Child Neglect

Psychotherapist Mike Dow adds, "A well-rounded vegan diet is for sure on a whole healthier than the average American diet..."

The takeaway is if you go on a diet for yourself and for your children make sure you research and understand it. You may be missing certain nutrients that kids need to grow and be healthy. 

Do you think this law goes too far? 

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