Teen Becomes Blind From Long Term Junk Food Diet

EnolaGaia

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#1
This is one of those stories that leaves you shaking you head in disbelief ...

After years of being a "picky eater" who only ate junk food, this teen now has permanently visual impairment at or beyond the threshold for ascribing legal blindness.

No, the story doesn't offer any clues to the social / family context within which this was presumably allowed to happen.

Teen's Junk Food Diet Caused Him to Go Blind, Doctors Say

A teen who ate nothing but fries, chips and other junk food for years slowly went blind as a result of his poor diet, according to a new report of the case.

The case highlights a perhaps little-known fact about poor diets: In addition to being tied to obesity, heart disease and cancer, they "can also permanently damage the nervous system, particularly vision," according to the report, published today (Sept. 2) in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

The teen's problems began at age 14, when he went to the doctor's office complaining of tiredness.

The teen was reportedly a "fussy eater," and blood tests showed he had anemia and low levels of vitamin B12, the report said. He was treated with injections of vitamin B12 along with advice on how to improve his diet. ...

However, by age 15, he developed hearing loss and vision problems, but doctors couldn't seem to find the cause — results from an MRI and eye exam were normal.

Over the next two years, the teen's vision got progressively worse. When the boy was 17, an eye test showed that his vision was 20/200 in both eyes, the threshold for being "legally blind" in the United States.

Further tests showed the teen had developed damage to his optic nerve ... In addition, the teen still had low levels of vitamin B12, along with low levels of copper, selenium and vitamin D.

... "The patient confessed that, since elementary school, he would not eat certain textures of food" ... He told doctors that the only things he ate were fries, chips — specifically, Pringles — white bread, processed ham slices and sausage.

After ruling out other possible causes for his vision loss, the teen was diagnosed with nutritional optic neuropathy, or damage to the optic nerve that results from nutritional deficiencies. The condition can be caused by drugs, malabsorption of food, poor diet or alcohol abuse. "Purely dietary causes are rare in developed countries," the authors said.

It's known that the B vitamins are essential for many cellular reactions, and deficiencies in these vitamins can lead to the buildup of toxic byproducts of metabolism, and eventually to the damage of nerve cells, according to the University of Iowa.

Vision loss from nutritional optic neuropathy is potentially reversible if caught early. However, by the time the teen was diagnosed, his vision loss was permanent. What's more, wearing glasses would not help the teen's vision, because damage to the optic nerve cannot be corrected with lenses ...

The teen was prescribed nutritional supplements, which prevented his vision loss from getting any worse.

The teen was also referred to mental health services for an eating disorder. The researchers note that the teen's diet was more than just "picky eating" because it was very restrictive and caused multiple nutritional deficiencies.

A relatively new diagnosis known as "avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder" (previously known as "selective eating disorder") involves a lack of interest in food or avoidance of foods with certain textures, colors, etc., without concern to body weight or shape. The condition usually starts in childhood, and patients often have a normal body mass index (BMI), as was the case for this patient ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/teen-fussy-eater-vision-loss.html

ABSTRACT Of Published Report:
https://annals.org/aim/article-abstract/2749497/blindness-caused-junk-food-diet
 
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skinny

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#3
doctors couldn't seem to find the cause

Poor parenting, or complete parental irresponsibility? Are you guys allowed to say that in the US? I know it's banned in the UK. We can say what we like here in Oz... for now.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#4
the social / family context within which this was presumably allowed to happen.
It's an extreme case, to be sure. I see daily, however, examples of otherwise-intelligent parents who never resist the peculiar demands of their offspring, where food and drink are concerned. Sugar-loaded, carbonated drinks are knocked-back with every meal, salads disdained as decoration and vegetables untouched. It is exclusively burger-world in the heads of these youngsters. Meanwhile, the parents may be eating sensibly themselves! If their kids were obese, they would notice, I think. As with the kid in the story, however, that dog may not bark. :(
 

skinny

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#5
described as a fussy eater

Yeah, that's not a message that can break through a skull of such density. It's nobody's fault, naturally, but I'm just sayin'. If you fed a dog or a rabbit that shit, you'd be sent down for animal cruelty.
 

Crankyoldgit62

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#9
Thanks EG, on a side note, my missus found a set of vouchers for money in Maccy D's and left for my youngest son. Now, even though he's a fussy eater and has always been, he likes his fruit and veg. Maybe the young lad 's parents in my above post either couldn't afford fruit or veg(?),gave it to him when he had a tantrum as a kid or couldn't be bothered. It's an absolute sad state of affairs and the junk food companies should've a warning sign like on a packet of cigarettes!!!!(Better get off my soapbox, getting dizzy!!!!),
 

EnolaGaia

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#10
Thanks EG, on a side note, my missus found a set of vouchers for money in Maccy D's and left for my youngest son. Now, even though he's a fussy eater and has always been, he likes his fruit and veg. Maybe the young lad 's parents in my above post either couldn't afford fruit or veg(?),gave it to him when he had a tantrum as a kid or couldn't be bothered. It's an absolute sad state of affairs and the junk food companies should've a warning sign like on a packet of cigarettes!!!!(Better get off my soapbox, getting dizzy!!!!),
The reports on this particular case don't give many details of the young man's background or family / social environment. This makes it difficult to determine the extent to which his odd eating habits were either (a) stupidly tolerated in an otherwise stable milieu versus (b) somehow distorted by his life context versus (c) conceded owing to some sort of behavioral / psychological malaise.

In any case, he's now got damaged optic nerves and a life of relative blindness ahead of him.
 

Shady

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#11
Or he hates fruit and veg
 

Zeke Newbold

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#12
Isn't this discussion a teeny bit insensitive - given what one of our chersihed posters is currently going through?
 

Shady

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#13
Hold on, is there another thread on this, i am sure i posted in it, unless i am going barmy
 

PeteS

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#14
According to this link on the same kid: https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/teen-...es-fries-ham-and-sausage-case-study-1.4574787

"a case in which a 28-year-old man’s diet consisted almost entirely of 1.9 litres of vodka per day, causing vision problems."

That's right, an all vodka diet, nearly 2 litres a day o_O
In the UK there was a huge problem with cheap fake vodka in circulation, the contents of which caused sight problems, if not permanent blindness. Truly awful.
 

Crankyoldgit62

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#15
Zeke, I never intentionally meant my post to insensitive to our poster but it makes mad that our younger generation are eating crap that has given them illnesses and has no nutrition value at all. I'm sad and upset for both our poster and the young lad going blind. Ihope that they get the necessary help needed for them. As EG states we don't know the lad's family circumstances, which is a sad state of affairs.
 

Lord Lucan

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#16
It's a shame that cases like this aren't taught in schools. I understand and appreciate that children can be picky eaters, but there can be severe consequences for poor choices and diets that aren't better supervised by parents.
 
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Cochise

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#17
It's not just poor diet that can cause problems. I know my vegan friend - who is very intelligent and does her research - found that one of the B vitamins is missing from an all plant diet . She gets it from Marmite so it may well be B12.
 
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#19
...Poor parenting, or complete parental irresponsibility? Are you guys allowed to say that in the US? I know it's banned in the UK. We can say what we like here in Oz... for now.
Hmmm - not sure anything like that is 'banned in the UK'; either you've been reading too much Daily Wail, or been reading too much on here which is written by people who do.

(Oddly, the people who claim we pussyfoot around social issues like poor parenting are often the very same ones who bang on about heavy handed social workers any time that the authorities do intervene to save children from the web fingered, piss-witted, puddle dwellers who pass for their parents. Go figure.)
 

Yithian

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#20
Hmmm - not sure anything like that is 'banned in the UK'; either you've been reading too much Daily Wail, or been reading too much on here which is written by people who do.

(Oddly, the people who claim we pussyfoot around social issues like poor parenting are often the very same ones who bang on about heavy handed social workers any time that the authorities do intervene to save children from the web fingered, piss-witted, puddle dwellers who pass for their parents. Go figure.)
I'd add that it how far poor parenting is criticised seems to correlate roughly with the socio-economic status of those doing the parenting.

We're quite often brutally judgmental on those most ill-equipped to make better decisions and disproportionately indulgent towards the errors of those further up the ladder who could easily have done much better.

I work with and for a lot of (in some case very) wealthy parents and its painfully obvious why some of their children are such a mess physically and psychologically speaking. It's mostly because they don't want to sacrifice the freedoms and pleasures they enjoyed before the children were born, and their wealth allows them to leave the difficult end of raising their child to a succession of nannies, child-carers, teachers and instructors.

At least that way they have a selection of somebodys to blame when their child becomes an overweight phone-addicted monster with no empathy or social skills and the charisma of a breeze-block.

I'm often the first to speak up when I see a child who isn't getting what he needs (in every sense), but I can, at least, manage some sympathy when mum and dad have to work multiple crappy jobs for meager wages and are stuck in the poverty-rut of being under-educated, under-skilled, over-worked and under-supported (by a host of people and groups).

Of course, one is tempted to ask, 'then why on earth start a family?', but a) people make poor decisions in high-stakes scenarios, and b) I can understand the natural urge to raise, love and care for a child--one that isn't going to be satisfied by a pet dog. These are the very same arguments the Victorians were thrashing out: the landscape may have changed, but the questions remain unaltered; as technology progresses and the wheels of economics grind on, they are only going to be asked more insistently. The poor are going to get (relatively) poorer (in the UK) and they sure as hell aren't going to start having notably fewer children as a result.

People in general, but young people in general, are often unrealistically sanguine about what the future will offer them and expect that things will 'work out' in the face of evidence to the contrary. One extreme result is the kind of utter screw-up we see in this headline.

Expect to see more of them.
 
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Cochise

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#21
Don't underestimate the damage done by the decline of 'community' In the course of my work I'm very involved with an island community, an island which has a poor reputation among those who don't live there. Many people are in minmum wage jobs, and the cost of commuting to better jobs on the mainland is severe. But what they do have is community - everyone seems to be related to everyone else (not that closely) and the grandparents and so on chip in with the child minding and lots of other things. Few places on the mainland that I have encountered still have that sense of mutual support. Or are as friendly to strangers.

Liverpool is an exception. And again of course has a poor rep among those who haven't been there. :thought:
 

EnolaGaia

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#22
Isn't this discussion a teeny bit insensitive - given what one of our chersihed posters is currently going through?
No - not at all.

The common feature between this story and the situation facing our fellow member concerns the outcome. Outcomes can - and most often do - result from a variety of causes.

There's a world of difference between a daunting personal outcome one suffers passively through bad fortune and an equivalent outcome induced through one's own discretionary / proactive missteps (however much it may have been facilitated by others).

Our fellow member is an example of the former; the young man in this story is a flagrant example of the latter.
 

Mythopoeika

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#23
Isn't this discussion a teeny bit insensitive - given what one of our chersihed posters is currently going through?
The kid and his parents have been a tad foolish. That kind of diet is just a time bomb.
For myself, my condition is to some degree hereditary. I haven't been particularly reckless with my diet.
 

Shady

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#24
I never would have thought that a solid diet of McDonalds would have caused that, i thought he would have been huge and his heart would have suffered the first
 

CarlosTheDJ

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#25
The guy has literally only eaten a bag of chip shop chips per day, punctuated with the occasional slice of white bread or ham. Plus the odd sausage.

That's extreme. Way more extreme than McDonald's every day.
 

Shady

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#26
Hold on, have i lost the plot, i thought he ate McDonalds every day, has someone else snook in?
 

Yithian

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#27
The guy has literally only eaten a bag of chip shop chips per day, punctuated with the occasional slice of white bread or ham. Plus the odd sausage.

That's extreme. Way more extreme than McDonald's every day.
Those gherkins are loaded with nutrition.
 

Cochise

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#28
Hold on, have i lost the plot, i thought he ate McDonalds every day, has someone else snook in?
Yes. Basically he lived off chips (US - fries) , Pringles, white bread and the occasional sausage (not clear what sort) and processed ham slices. Had he actually eaten McDonalds he's be fatter but not blind.

I largely live off McDonalds / Burger King / Kebab shops / Fish and chip shops because cooking for one is a pretty depressing pastime. I'm neither fat nor dead (yet)
 

EnolaGaia

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#29
Hold on, have i lost the plot, i thought he ate McDonalds every day, has someone else snook in?
Crankyoldgit62 made a side reference to McDonalds. There's no mention of Mickey-D involvement with the malnourished teen.
 

Shady

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#30
Ah, thank you Enola and Cochise, if it had been McDonalds the family would be suing them now
 
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