17-year-old boy goes blind after living on crisps, chips, and white bread
A 17-year-old boy has gone blind after living on a diet of crisps, chips, and white bread.
The teenager was treated by doctors in Bristol Eye Hospital after his eye sight deteriorated to the point of blindness.
He had been eating a diet exclusively comprised of takeaway chips, Pringles, white bread, and a small amount of processed meats.
He was suffering from severe vitamin deficiencies and malnutrition damage.
According to Annals of Internal Medicine journal, the boy did not like the texture of other foods and felt as if he could only eat certain types.
He had been diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency at age 14, but did not continue to take his supplements or improve his diet.
Doctors said that he had developed an avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, which stopped him from eating certain nutritious foods.
Dr Denize Atan, who treated the teenager at the hospital, said that the patient was low in B12, vitamin D, copper, and selenium.
"His diet was essentially a portion of chips from the local fish and chip shop every day," she said.
"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.
"He explained this as an aversion to certain textures of food that he really could not tolerate, and so chips and crisps were really the only types of food that he wanted and felt that he could eat."
The boy was diagnosed with Nutritional optic neuropathy, which means that he has blind spots right in the middle of his vision.
"That means he can't drive and would find it really difficult to read, watch TV or discern faces," said Dr Atan.
"He can walk around on his own though because he has got peripheral vision."
The condition is treatable if diagnosed early.