Benjamin McLane Spock (1903 – 1998) was an American pediatrician whose book Baby and Child Care, published in 1946, is one of the biggest best-sellers of all time. Throughout its first 52 years, Baby and Child Care was the second-best-selling book, next to the Bible.
In the seventh edition of Baby and Child Care, published a few weeks after he died, Spock advocated for a bold change in children's diets, recommending that all children switch to a vegan diet after the age of 2.
Spock himself had switched to an all-plant diet in 1991, after a series of illnesses that left him weak and unable to walk unaided. After making the dietary change, he lost 50 pounds, regained his ability to walk and became healthier overall.
The revised edition stated children on an all-plant diet will reduce their risk of developing heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and certain diet-related cancers. Several studies have shown that, in general, vegetarians are leaner and at lower risk of such diseases.