Two vegan parents have lost custody of their 14-month-old child after he was found to be severely malnourished because of his diet.
The young boy weighed only slightly more than a three-month-old, according to The Local Italy.
He was admitted to hospital in Milan by his grandparents who feared for his health and after further examination by the hospital, a more disturbing picture began to take shape.
He was found to be severely malnourished and was suffering from dangerously low calcium levels. To make matters worse, the baby had to undergo an emergency operation because of a congenital heart condition, which was aggravated by his diet.
An inquiry has since been opened and police contacted so the process could be started to get the boy away from his parents.
Apparently, veganism is on the rise in Italy, with some media reports estimating that almost 3 per cent of the population now avoid all animal products, The Telegraph reports.
Director of paediatrics, Luca Bernardo, said:
This forces us to reflect on uncommon feeding regimes, even if in this case it was complicated by a cardiac malformation. It is not a problem to choose different or unusual kinds of nutrition and we certainly do not want to enter into a discussion of the merits of the decision. But since birth, the baby should have had support in this case with calcium and iron.
The baby’s future is now in the hands of the children’s court which will determine whether his grandparents should have custody.