Published: Tue, September 03, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Crisps Diet Blamed for Teen's Blindness

Crisps Diet Blamed for Teen's Blindness

His junk food diet consisted exclusively of crisps, chips, white bread and processed meats.

A teenage boy has permanently damaged his sight due to his poor diet of mostly chips and crisps (Nick Ansell/PA).

"Blindness caused by junk food diet" - involves an unnamed youth from Bristol who, when he was 14, was taken to his family doctor because was complaining of feeling exhausted all the time.

Though nutritional optic neuropathy is rare in developed countries, the University of Iowa documented a case in which a 28-year-old man's diet consisted nearly entirely of 1.9 litres of vodka per day, causing vision problems.

A review of his case, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal, found that he was deficient in several key vitamins, including vitamin B12, copper and vitamin D.

"He had a daily portion of fries from the local fish and chip shop and snacked on Pringles, white bread, processed ham slices and sausages".

Previously known as Selective Eating Disorder.

They recommend that doctors should consider nutritional optic neuropathy - a dysfunction of the optic nerve usually caused by drugs, or poor diet combined with alcoholism and smoking - in any patient with unexplained vision symptoms and poor diet, even in patients with a normal BMI. But with "blind spots right in the middle of his vision", Atan said, he will never be able to drive, and "would find it really hard to read, watch TV or discern faces".

He now meets the criteria for being registered legally blind and is unable to drive, though his functional peripheral vision means he is able to walk around unaided.

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However, improving his diet proved hard.

"What's unusual about this case is the extreme picky eating and the fact it had gone on for quite some time, that the diagnosis had been missed, and the visual loss had become permanent", Dr. Atan told The Telegraph.

"There is a need to pick up on eating problems such as these as early as possible so the issue around limited textures and tastes can be addressed".

"His family have tried very hard, introducing fruit and vegetables to his diet, but, because he has this particularly aversion to certain textures of food, it is difficult to bring himself to eat those things".

"Putting a lot of pressure on the child and getting anxious about it can actually make the behaviour worse".

A teenager has gone blind as a result of his junk food diet.

It is believed to be the first case of its kind in the UK. His teachers became concerned too.

Doctors said that he had developed an avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, which stopped him from eating certain nutritious foods.

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