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Teen Loses Vision, Hearing after Adopting Fries-only Diet

Teen Loses Vision, Hearing after Adopting Fries-only Diet

Thursday, 5 September, 2019 - 05:45
French fries. Getty images
Cairo - Hazem Badr

Some people underestimate medical recommendations that stress the importance of a balanced diet that includes an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables. However, a recent British study involving a teenager who has lost his vision because of a bad diet, may prompt many to take such recommendations more seriously.

The study, published Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal, has documented the case of a British teenager who abstained from eating fruits and vegetable since he was a primary school student. Eventually, the teen lost his vision and hearing because of a deficiency in vitamins and minerals.

The problem started when he was 14. At the time, his tests showed he suffers from macrocytic anemia and low vitamin B12 levels, which leads to an abnormal fabrication of red blood cells. Initially, he was treated with vitamin B12 injections and dietary advice, and the doctors said the cause behind his problem is his "picky eating".

According to a report published by the Bristol Eye Hospital on this case, the boy didn't follow the doctors' advice, and returned to the hospital one year later after the hearing loss and vision symptoms had developed. By age 17, the patient's vision had progressively worsened, to the point of blindness.

Further investigation found that the main cause behind these conditions is a bad diet that led to a vitamin B12 and D deficiency, and low copper and selenium levels, which are directly linked to vision problems.

The sick boy admitted that since starting secondary school, he had consumed a limited diet of chips, white bread, and some processed pork, and avoided fruits and vegetables.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Khalid Kamel, ophthalmologist at the Egyptian ministry of health, told Asharq Al-Awsat that "this case should be a lesson for parents who underestimate the nutritional recommendations that urge them to provide their kids with balanced meals that maintain their health."

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