A teenager who lived on a diet of junk food has gone blind due to malnutrition, a medical journal has reported.
The Bristol teen was a ‘fussy eater’ who ate mainly ‘chips, crisps and white bread’ and rarely consumed any fruit or vegetables.
The doctors say that otherwise, he was well and took no medication.
Health professionals have said poor nutrition can permanently damage the nervous system, particularly vision.
Researchers from Bristol Eye Hospital said the boy first presented to his doctor aged 14, complaining of tiredness, according to a case report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine .
Tests showed he had low vitamin B 12 levels and macrocytic anaemia – a condition bringing larger-than-normal red blood cells.
The report said, by the time the boy had turned 17, his vision had become progressively worse, resulting in blindness.
Investigating the boy’s nutrition, physicians found vitamin B 12 and vitaminD deficiencies, a reduced bone mineral density, low levels of copper and selenium and a high zinc level.
The patient confessed that since elementary school, he had avoided foods with certain textures and only ate French fries, Pringles, white bread, processed ham slices, and sausage.
– Annals of Internal Medicine
“By the time his condition was diagnosed, the patient had permanently impaired vision.”