clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Study: Teenage boy goes blind from eating junk food

The study, done by researchers at the University of Bristol, reviewed the case of a young boy who went blind after engaging in a specific diet that focused around junk food.

The study, done by researchers at the University of Bristol, reviewed the case of a young boy who went blind after engaging in a specific diet that focused around junk food.
The study, done by researchers at the University of Bristol, reviewed the case of a young boy who went blind after engaging in a specific diet that focused around junk food.
Adobe Stock

SALT LAKE CITY — A teenage boy went blind from eating French fries, Pringles and white bread, according to a new study published this week.

The study, done by researchers at the University of Bristol, reviewed the case of a young boy who went blind after engaging in a specific diet that focused around junk food.

The teenage boy told doctor he eat French fries from a fish and chops shop, Pringles potato chips, white bread, processed ham and sausage and other food since he was in elementary school, according to the study, which was published in Annals Internal Medicine.

When he went to the doctor, the teen complained that he was tired. Doctors found that he had low B12 levels and anemia, even though his BMI and height were fine. One year later, he showed signs of vision and hearing loss.

According to CNN, the teenager became blind by the time he was 17. Doctors noticed he had “vitamin B12 deficiency, low copper and selenium levels, a high zinc level, reduced vitamin D level and bone level density.”

The researchers suggest that the boy suffered from nutritional optic neuropathy, which is when ones bowels interfere with nutrients getting to the right places, specifically the optic nerves, causing blindness.

The condition can be treated, if action is taken early. However, the teenage boy who suffered in this case didn’t act early enough and is now permanently blind, according to Live Science.

“What’s more, wearing glasses would not help the teen’s vision, because damage to the optic nerve cannot be corrected with lenses,” Live Science reported.

“Our vision has such an impact on quality of life, education, employment, social interactions, and mental health,” the study’s lead author, Denize Atan, an ophthalmologist at Bristol Medical School and Bristol Eye Hospital, told CNN.

It’s possible the teenager may have had a separate eating disorder called “avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder” (or “selective eating disorder”) where people will avoid foods with certain textures or flavors, according to Live Science.