Does it get reported in the Nationals the Bill Clinton went vegan for heart health? That a Vegan cage fighter wins a world championship? That Oprah Winfrey helps her staff battle obesity and chronic disease with a vegan diet? - No
Quite often the only time we see vegan in a headline is when a baby tragically dies. Another story today highlights the need for parental education, it's one of the most important jobs we ever have in our lives and one that we are often so ill prepared for.
Two strict vegans have gone on trial in France charged with "neglect or food deprivation" after the death of their breastfed 11-month-old daughter who was found to be suffering from vitamin deficiency.These parents thought they were doing the right thing, I'm convinced modern medicinal theory and abuse of anti-biotics causes more harm than good - but anti-biotics are good crisis management and in a crisis they can save lives. A cabbage and mud poultice is unlikely to save anyone's life. But are naivety and stupidity grounds for imprisoning parents for 30 years? Surely the death of their daughter is severe punishment in itself? They were after all acting with the best intentions - they didn't intentionally cause the death of their baby or cause death by selfish actions, a lack of common sense yes but not selfish!
"The couple did not follow the doctor's advice to take the baby to hospital when they went for her nine-month checkup and found she was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight," he said. Instead they treated her with cabbage poultices, mustard and camphor and washed her with earth and clay instead of giving her baths, the court heard.
If this is a valid route for law then why does the law stand by and not take action with mothers who are not only naive and stupid but selfish as well!
Tempting as it may to make an analogy with mothers who feed their children sweets, crisps and cola for breakfast and KFC fried chicken for tea and risk/cause childhood obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer for their kids.... I am going to resist.
Who then? - Mothers that smoke! Why do we not take action against them? We know smoking kills - there is no doubt of 'if' only when. We are not talking a cabbage and mud poultice here and there, we are talking about a practice that has been scientifically proven to increase the risk of death!
In 2009, 16% of 15-year old girls were regular smokers .
Stats from 2005 show smoking rates are usually higher for mothers in routine or manual jobs: 48% smoked in the year before pregnancy or during and 29% throughout pregnancy compared to mothers in managerial or professional jobs whose equivalent percentages were 19% and 7%. Govt targets are to reduce smoking to 21% !
Over 13 years ago a meta-analysis of data available on cigarette smoking and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome risk was published - its findings released to the British media on March 11, 1998 .
This review of the epidemiological evidence linking maternal smoking and SIDS was based on 39 studies, incorporating a number of major recent studies and including some earlier studies not mentioned in existing reviews. It was conducted by scientific investigators at the Department of Public Health Sciences, St. George's Hospital Medical School, in London, and was completed in April 1997. The authors, H. Ross Anderson and Derek G. Cook, conclude that "maternal smoking doubles the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome." They further conclude that "the relationship is almost certainly causal."
Though it is considered to be one of the most significant known risk factors for SIDS, medical experts in the U.S. stop short of describing the association between cigarette smoke exposure and SIDS as "causal." Case control, population-based studies from several countries have shown that cigarette smoking during pregnancy triples the risk for SIDS. Epidemiologic studies have shown that exposure to cigarette smoke in the environment after birth doubles the risk for SIDS. These studies have led some scientists to believe that cigarette smoking is part of the causal pathway, possibly due to intrauterine hypoxia, although the mechanism is still not clear.
Some recent studies have added to our understanding of the possible physiologic mechanisms underlying the association between smoking and SIDS. Scientists (Kinney et. al.) have documented defects in some SIDS infants in sites of the brainstem involved in arousal, heart and breathing functions, sleep, and body movement control. While we do not yet know exactly how smoking affects a fetus, abnormalities in the developing nervous system have been observed in animals exposed to cigarette smoke in utero.
Components of smoke are also believed to have a negative effect on fetal lung development. Based on epidemiologic investigations, sustained cigarette smoke exposure makes it more difficult for babies who are already vulnerable to breathe. In addition, smoke exposure may disrupt the arousal mechanism in infants, as it is known to do in adult smokers, and may contribute to neonatal death during an hypoxic episode. Moreover, its effect on narrowing blood vessels induces smokers to keep their environments warmer and to use more bedding than non-smokers--two more factors that increase the risk of SIDS.
Studies have also shown that infants who share a bed with smokers may be subjected to higher levels of smoke than other infants because of more and closer contact with the smokers (Mitchell et. al.). Recent attention to the potential relationship between particulate air pollution and SIDS (Woodruff et. al.) has raised scientific speculation regarding possible harmful components of cigarette smoke beyond nicotine.
In Great Britain, where prone sleeping is no longer a major SIDS risk factor due to the success of the "Back To Sleep" public health campaigns, cigarette smoking has emerged as the main risk factor for SIDS. The Confidential Enquiry into Stillbirths and Deaths in Infancy (Fleming, et. al.) found the risk of SIDS to rise with increases in the numbers of smokers in the household, the number of cigarettes smoked a day, and the length of exposure to cigarette smoke. The study concluded that it should be considered "as anti-social to smoke around an infant as it is to drink and drive."
As the body of evidence against infant exposure to cigarette smoke continues to mount, parents are strongly advised not to smoke during pregnancy and the critical first year of development, or allow anyone else to smoke around the baby either.
It is equally important that, since many babies still die of SIDS in smoke-free environments and since the cause(s) of SIDS remain unknown.
Nonetheless - Hypocrisy rooLz!