A Teen From The UK Went Blind Due To Diet That Consisted Only Of Pringles, White Bread, Fries, And Sausage

This story of poor eating will terrify anyone to eat their fruits and vegetables.

French fries sit in a bowl.
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This story of poor eating will terrify anyone to eat their fruits and vegetables.

It’s common for children to be picky eaters and be hesitant to try new things. Maybe they need some persuading to eat their fruits and vegetables. Yet, commonly this type of behavior lessens as the child grows older and they expand the types of foods that are in their regular diet. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for one 17-year-old from the U.K. whose extremely poor diet led to some serious health consequences, according to Market Watch.

This teen, who was not named, reportedly consumed only Pringles, white bread, french fries, and sausage on a regular basis. In fact, he maintained this diet for around a decade. Eventually he ended up going blind as a result of poor nutrition. Prior to this severe consequence of poor health, he began to experience other health problems in recent years. He went to the doctor to complain of chronic fatigue and was told he was anemic and also in need of B12 supplement to compensate for his low levels of the vitamin. While the doctor gave the teen diet advice, they did not see other signs of poor nutrition because he was at a healthy weight and BMI.

However, by the time he turned 17-years-old, the teen was experiencing weakened bones as well as vision loss and some hearing loss. It was then determined by medical professionals that his diet was so poor that it damaged his optic nerve, thus causing the blindness. His condition is called nutritional optic neuropathy, or NON, and is usually found in countries where there is poverty and not enough access to healthy food.

Dr. Valerie Elmalem, a neuro-ophthalmologist at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, explained the importance of healthy food for good eye health.

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“Vitamins play a very important role in maintaining eye health. These nutrients include vitamin A found in orange foods like carrots and mangoes, which keep the surface of the eye moist and aid in night vision. But B vitamins, iron and thiamine (found in beef, liver, nuts, oranges, eggs and fortified rice, bread, cereal and pasta) are also vital. You can get a thiamine deficiency in as quickly as three weeks, which can also affect the optic nerve, the way the eyes move around, and it can also affect your memory.”

She went on to say that she believed that a diet like the one this teen had would most likely lead to the beginnings of permanent vision loss only within a few years.