Vegan diet may have severe consequences warning

Vegan diet may have severe consequences warning

Professor Chris Elliott, Queen’s University Belfast academic, has warned that a vegan diet could be potentially fatal, stating that a lack of essential micronutrients could have severe consequences.

Professor Chris Elliott, Queen's University Belfast academic.

Professor Chris Elliott, Queen’s University Belfast academic.

Poor bone health, lower omega-3 and iodine levels, plus a vitamin B12 deficiency are among those potential problems cited.

In a recent article, the professor suggested that a vegan diet could lead to a phenomenon called ‘hidden hunger’ if the quality of food people eat does not meet their nutritional requirements.

In a separate report on veganism, Bethany Kenny, from Dromore in County Down, told BBC News NI that she developed a vitamin B12 deficiency after turning vegan two years ago stating that: “When I was brushing my hair it was coming out a lot more than what was normal before.” She has since corrected the imbalance by taking tablets.

January has become a period when vegans promote their so called alternative lifestyle and this has drawn significant criticism from various quarters. Vegans and some organisations supporting them, are often heavily criticised for making unsubstantiated claims about trends and the growth of what many see as a fad. Like many diets, it is tried and quickly discarded, particularly by the young. Misleading claims about health benefits remain a growing concern for a number of health professionals.

One senior county councillor in Shropshire also created quite a furore recently after tweeting that adverts promoting veganism should be removed from buses in Shropshire because of the county’s agricultural history. Deputy council leader Steve Charmley said in a series of tweets the posters meant bus firm Arriva was being used to promote ‘fake news of vegangalists’.

The adverts, encouraging people to try veganism in January, were paid for by an organisation described as Shropshire Veggies and Vegans. The adverts for Veganuary, which feature a picture of a cow and a caption about milk production, are being displayed on buses in the Telford and Shrewsbury area.

Conservative councillor Mr Charmley, who has been deputy leader for more than three years, said he did not object to people choosing what they ate but added: “I come from a farming background and I know farming is highly regulated, we have some of the highest quality food around the world, responsibly sourced and that conforms to the highest welfare standards.” He has called on Arriva to meet him to which the company has said it would be happy to do so.

The tweet from Councillor Charmley comes in the same week that bakery chain Gregg’s launched a vegan sausage roll, which gained publicity on the ITV breakfast programme Good Morning Britain. However, presenter Piers Morgan reacted with apparent outrage – in turn prompting a barrage of criticism over his stance.

Morgan subsequently Tweeted that he had ‘just ordered a large sausage roll on room service. A meat one. Real meat. The vegan resistance starts here.’

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