Junk food diet blamed for teenage boy going blind, deaf

Junk food ads to be banned on London tubes buses and trains

Junk food ads to be banned on London tubes buses and trains

A teenager has gone deaf and blind after living off a diet of chips, sausages and crisps.

Tests showed that in addition to severe vitamin deficiencies, he also suffered malnutrition damage.

Dr Denise Atan, who treated him at the hospital, said he met the criteria for being registered blind, according to the BBC. The Annals of Internal Medicine journal claims that it was three years after this initial consultation that he arrived at Bristol Eye Hospital because of progressive sight loss.

The mum said he began going off his meals when he was about seven years old - and would only eat chips, Pringles, sausages, processed ham and white bread.

Most of us are aware of the links between junk food consumption and cardiovascular health, obesity, and cancer.

A year later, the boy was suffering from vision and hearing impairments, as well as from bone weakness.

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Vision loss from nutritional optic neuropathy is potentially reversible if caught early, however, the teen's condition was reportedly so grave that his vision loss became permanent. The condition could become more common in the future as more people opt for unhealthy diets over more nutritious options.

By the time his condition was diagnosed his vision was permanently impaired.

"Avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder is a relatively new diagnostic entity, but unlike anorexia nervosa, it is not driven by weight or shape concerns", Dr Atan said, adding that symptoms could consist of the lack of interest in food, heightened sensitivity to food textures, and fear of the consequences of eating".

Doctors discovered low vitamin B12 levels and anemia, treating the patient with vitamin B12 injections and offering dietary advice.

The Independent was able to get a hold of his mother, who asked to remain anonymous, and she informed the publication she first noticed her son's diet change when he was just seven years old.

Nutritional optic neuropathy is a dysfunction of the optic nerve which is important for vision.

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In addition to getting supplements to treat his nutritional deficiencies, the boy was also referred to mental health counselling for his eating disorder.

Deficiencies of vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (folate), vitamin B12 (cobalamin), iron, calcium, magnesium, and copper are all known to cause optic neuropathy, and are easily misdiagnosed as other disorders without an adequate dietary history from the patient.

Atan said doctors gave the teenager supplements to correct some vitamin deficiencies, and his colour vision improved, though his overall vision did not.

"Hence, high-energy diets correlate with high BMI, low socioeconomic status, and poor health".

The young teen, who remains anonymous, has been eating his limited diet since he left primary school.

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