19-Year-Old Goes Blind After Years Of Only Consuming French Fries And Potato Chips

"It's the most serious case I've ever seen of blindness caused by junk food."

Cover image via Serious Eats & Science Daily

A teenager in the UK reportedly became blind after several years of only consuming French fries, Pringles potato chips, bread, and processed ham

The 19-year-old unnamed boy from Bristol, United Kingdom had to drop out of college due to his loss of sight. 

According to Daily Mail, the teenager was extremely picky with his food.

The last time he ate any fruits or vegetables was a decade ago. The boy's height and weight, however, was normal. 

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Serious Eats

The teenager began to lose his sight at the age of 14

He visited the hospital to seek treatment as he had been feeling tired and unwell.

Doctors revealed that the boy was deficient in several essential vitamins namely, vitamin B12, copper, and vitamin D among others, as reported by CNN.

The teenager, however, did not follow the doctor's treatment plan or improve his diet.

By the age of 17, the teenager progressively lost his sight and was registered blind

Further health checks and tests revealed that he was suffering from Nutritional Optic Neuropathy (NON), a condition in which there is damage to the optic nerve resulting in visual impairment.

According to The Guardian, Dr Denize Atan shared that the teenager was getting enough calories in his diet, but not vitamins.

"His diet was essentially a portion of chips from the local fish and chip shop every day. He also used to snack on crisps — Pringles — and sometimes slices of white bread and occasional slices of ham, and not really any fruit and vegetables," the doctor said as reported by Mothership.

"When the problems started he seemed, on the outside, like a healthy 14-year-old boy," the doctor added. 

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Science Daily

The boy was also diagnosed with avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder, an eating disorder that resulted in malnourishment

"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.

"His family actually bought him the French fries because if he didn't eat them, then he wouldn't eat anything. They tried hard to introduce vegetables and fruit to his diet."

"He is now registered blind and can only read the top letter on an optician chart. He also has a blind spot in the middle of his eyes," Dr Atan said. 

"It's the most serious case I've ever seen of blindness caused by junk food."

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