According To Doctors Teen Is Legally Blind After Seven-Year Diet Consisting Of French Fries, White Bread, And Ham Slices

In the United Kingdom, a teenager with a bad case of “fussy eating” became blind, according to a report that was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Denize Atan, the author of the study, met the boy at the age of 17, at Bristol Eye Hospital. At this point, his eyesight had been steadily declining for two years. 

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He had been following the same diet he had been on for the past seven years, according to The Washington Post. The teen told his doctors that ever since he had been in elementary school, he's had fries every day from the local fish and chip shop. He also regularly snacked on Pringles, bread, sausage, and ham.

Most people know the common risks of poor nutrition. These include poor heart health, obesity, and cancer. Atan’s study warns people about other risks that many aren’t aware of. Poor nutrition can cause the nervous system to irreversibly deteriorate which could cause a loss of vision.

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The teen boy was originally treated three years prior for tiredness by his family physician. He was 14 years old at the time and apart from being a picky eater, he was “otherwise well and took no medications,” the report states. The early testing showed he had lower than normal levels of macrocytic anemia and vitamin B12. These were treated with dietary advice and B12 shots.

By the age of 15, he began to lose his hearing and vision problems followed. Doctors could not figure out what was causing the vision and hearing loss. Two years later, the teen was legally blind.

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According to the report, testing showed that his B12 deficiency had not decreased. Along with all the other issues, he had now developed decreased bone mineral density level. He also had low levels of copper, vitamin D, and selenium and high levels of zinc. According to the report, he was diagnosed with avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder and nutritional optic neuropathy. The eating disorder often starts in childhood and is driven by an aversion to certain food textures.

Nutritional optic neuropathy is often caused by malabsorption of medications and alcoholism. It affects the optic nerve. If it is caught early, it can be reversible. However, if it is left untreated, it can cause permanent damage to the optic nerve.

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Blindness can be a very serious result of poor nutrition.

In a news release by the University of Bristol, Atan stated, “This case highlights the impact of diet on visual and physical health and the fact that calorie intake and BMI are not reliable indicators of nutritional status." Nutritional optic neuropathy could, therefore, become more common in the future. The increasing popularity of veganism and the rising consumption of junk food can cause a lack of B12 vitamin.

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It is extremely important to eat a variety of foods. There isn’t a single food that will give you all your needed vitamins and minerals. You must have variety. It is Atan’s hope that this teen’s case will serve as a warning to others. Make sure your friends and loved ones are aware of the dangers of a poor diet and pass this important information on. 

Our content is created to the best of our knowledge, yet it is of general nature and cannot in any way substitute an individual consultation by your doctor. Your health is important to us!