Baby Care

Parents who Believe ‘Sunlight is Food’ Arrested after Baby Dies of Prolonged Starvation

Warning: This article contains distressing content.

A one-month-old baby has died from “prolonged starvation” in Sochi, Russia. The newborn’s parents, 33-year-old Oxana Mironova and 43-year-old Maxim Lyutyi both follow a radical diet known as prana eating, which involves feeding off the sunlight and going for prolonged periods without food and water. 

Prolonged starvation

It is alleged that their newborn died after the parents forced this radical diet on their infant. Both Oxana and Maxim have been arrested.

Oxana is being investigated on charges of negligence while Maxim is being separately detained on charges of trying to resist local law enforcement. Oxana has also been put on house arrest for two months by a judge.

The parents are health influencers and the founders of the health and wellness club known as The Living Man. Both follow an extreme food diet and consider themselves to be “radical raw foodists”.

Baby dies of prolonged starvation - prana lifestyle
Source: Both Maxim and Oxana are alleged to be on the radical diet. East 2 West

It is alleged that the couple forced their extreme prana eating on their newborn, which caused his death.

According to Zvezda News, 

“The preliminary version of the infant’s death is severe exhaustion…that the blogger [Maxim] tried to instil his nutrition system in the baby.” 

Suspected of torturing a baby

Maxim often promotes his methods to cleanse the body, including feeding off the energy of the sun and avoiding food or water for a prolonged time. According to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, a criminal investigation has now been launched. 

“The man is suspected of torturing a baby. After the birth of the child, the suspect took the baby from the mother at least three times between February and March of this year and deprived him of the opportunity to eat for a day,” the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation said in a statement,

According to media outlets, the baby was around one month old at the time of his passing. He was born at home and had not been seen by doctors prior to being admitted to hospital before his death. The newborn was suspected of suffering from pneumonia and emaciation caused by starvation.

What is prana eating? 

Prana means “life” and the pranic lifestyle is a diet choice that relies on long-established dietary principles from Ayurvedic and yogic traditions in India. There are certain foods with positive pranic and certain foods with negative pranic. Positive pranic foods include fruit, whole grains and certain veggies. 

According to Ayurveda, sunlight is also one of the main sources of prana, and some practitioners believe that it is possible for a person to survive on sunlight alone. This is also known as Inedia or breatharianism. There have been several instances where this practice has caused severe starvation, dehydration and death. 

We urge parents to be mindful of how important it is to ensure you are feeding your baby the right nutrients, even if you are on a strict diet yourself. Babies don’t need diets. They need nutrients.

In 2018, a Victorian couple pleaded guilty to negligently causing serious injury to their daughter after starving her of nutrients in an extreme diet comprised of just fruit and coconut water. The little girl weighed just 6kg when she was 12 months old and was in intensive care for a month. She now has cerebral palsy caused by malnutrition. Read more. 

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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