All major nutritional bodies say it is possible to be healthy at all stages of life on a well-planned vegan diet (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission) - Media Credit:

‘It’s Harder To Be Healthy On Vegan Diet’ Warns UK Government Advisor

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2 Minutes Read

A government advisor has warned that it is ‘harder to be healthy on a vegan diet – especially for children’.

Henry Dimbleby is leading a review of England’s food system, which will reportedly ‘lead to the first national food strategy in 75 years’. Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Times, he said he wanted to ‘consider new ways of feeding Britain after it left the EU’ – including clean meat, insects, and genetically-modified crops.

But he wrote off the idea that people should be encouraged to reduce or cut out animal products to save the planet, branding it ‘prescriptive and nanny-state-ish’.

‘Harder to be healthy’

“Veganism has been suggested as a solution to climate change but we are not going to tell everyone to become vegan,” said Dimbleby, a meat eater, who co-founded fast-food chain Leon.

“People felt freaked out by that; it felt prescriptive and nanny-state-ish. You can be healthy eating a vegan diet, but among dieticians, it is accepted that it is harder, especially for children.”

He supports the idea of cutting down on meat, and says the meat people consume in the future should be lab-cultivated or ‘higher quality’.

Plant-based approach

“The evidence suggests that plant-based diets produce the fewest greenhouse gas emissions. Mr Dimbleby has said that climate change is the top priority, so his food strategy review should be more positive towards a plant-based approach,” William Gildea, Campaigns and Policy Officer for The Vegan Society told Plant Based News.

“With time of the essence, government policy needs to throw its weight behind a plant-based approach to public-sector catering and farming policy. That’s not prescribing individuals with diets, that’s making sure policy is as environmentally-friendly as possible.”

Vegan children

Vegan Society Dietician, Heather Russell, responded to Mr Dimbleby’s comments on a vegan diet being harder, especially for children adding: “Nutritional planning is important for everyone.

“We work with the British Dietetic Association to share the message that well-planned vegan diets can support healthy living in people of all ages. Nutrition guides for every stage of life are available at vegansociety.com/nutrition.”

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The Author

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the former editor for Plant Based News. She has been a newspaper reporter and features writer. Her work has been published by The Guardian and The Huffington Post, among others

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