A new case report came out this week with news of a UK teenager having a diet of potato chips and other junk foods, which led to very undesirable health consequences. Doctors have described how the teen’s disordered “fussy” eating “led to chronic nutritional deficiencies that left him with a variety of symptoms, including permanent partial blindness.”
According to the case report, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the boy had visited his family doctor at age 14 with complaints of fatigue. He seemed otherwise healthy and wasn’t taking any medications, but he described himself as a “fussy eater” and tests showed that he was low in vitamin B12 and had anemia. He was prescribed injections of B12 and was given advice on how to eat a proper diet.
A year later, though, he developed hearing loss and was sent to another doctor. Soon after, he started having vision problems as well. But tests at the time, including brain scans and standard eye exams, didn’t reveal any underlying physical causes. Over the next two years, his vision continued to worsen, and by the time he saw an eye specialist, he was diagnosed with damage to his optic nerves.
Again, tests looking for a possible explanation like a hereditary disease came up short—but a more sensitive test found that he was still low in vitamin B12. And when they asked about his diet, he revealed that since he was a kid in grade school, he had flat out avoided foods with “certain textures” and almost exclusively ate chips, white bread, processed ham and sausage; he had also stopped taking vitamin B12 shots. Further tests showed that he was deficient in copper, selenium, and vitamin D too, and his bones were unusually weak with low mineral density.
Check out more details about this saddening news over at Gizmodo.
What are your thoughts on this one?
(Image Credit: FotoshopTofs/ Pixabay)