Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Veganism is an eating disorder???

Does anyone out there worry that veganism will jump start a life of disordered eating in their child? I'm an over analyzer, so of course the thought has come to mind - but it was a passing thought. I worried that putting restrictions and emphasis on food would make them closet carnivores, anorexic, bulimic. Then I realized that it's not an issue any more than any other diet it, be it the SAD,  diabetic, low sugar, kosher, or vegetarian.  I mean seriously - how can teaching my kids about nutrition and where their food comes from be a bad thing?  I occasionally take inventory of their diet, make sure they're hitting their growth milestones, and I'm confidant they're much healthier than the majority of their meat-eating counterparts.

This article (click here) aims to instill fear in parents that their child will develop an eating disorder if they're vegan. While the article says veganism is used as a cover for "something darker", it's full of innuendos implying that veganism is the gateway drug to anorexia or bulimia.

"For people who refuse to consume any animal products, acceptable food can be hard to come by—which makes veganism a perfect cover for those hiding their anorexia". Okay, point taken. But as a parents, it's our JOB to pay attention to our child's food intake! Whether cake and ice cream or broccoli and sprouts, we need to be aware that their nutritional needs are being met. (Side note: it always kills me when people point this out after hearing we're vegan. Not once as omni's did anyone ever caution me about kids nutrition, and I was feeding the Mc-freaking-Donald's every week!!)

Another statement: "...(used veganism) as an excuse to avoid her mom’s New Orleans-style chicken-fried steak". Well, should we really be feeding our kids chicken-fried steak? I'm just sayin'.

And the worst of all: "Dr. Herrin tells parents not to let their kids be vegetarian until they go to college, echoing that the diet can create a “ruse” that loved ones can’t see through. “Most families don’t have the time to prepare vegetarian entrĂ©es,” she said. “What’s at risk is the child’s growth and development, and potentially an eating disorder.”

Hold up!! What?!?! There are so many things wrong with that statement I wanna shout! If a kid's going to have an eating disorder, they're going to have an eating disorder, regardless of what you allow - or force - them to eat. Most families don't have time to prepare vegetarian entrĂ©es? Really? 'Cause I'm a single working mom of two, and have become a rocket scientist in the kitchen - I can get a healthy, VEG, meal on the table in 20 minutes when I need to. Yeah, sometimes  it takes longer. What about making our children's health a priority? And really, does anyone believe it takes longer to cook a veg meal? Comeon, now. As far as it being a "ruse", again - look at what they're eating! If they're dissing vegan cupcakes, you might have a problem. Just kidding! I'm not a doctor, or a nutritionist, or a rocket scientist. But common sense dictates that parents just need to pay attention to their kids diet. whatever it may be, and make sure they're getting what they need. 

The article ends with: "... many dieticians and eating-disorder specialists hesitate to recommend a vegan diet as a path to recovery. “It’s like an alcoholic who likes to spend time in bars,” says Herrin. “It’s very risky to take on any system of eating that’s restrictive and passes judgment on food that’s not founded on health principles."

I agree with being aware of the restrictions when recovering from an eating issue, but ummm... since when are beans, grains, fruits and veggies not founded on health principals? Grrrr! 

My grrrrrrr for the day!


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