A case report in Annals of Internal Medicine describes a teen who went “blind” from a junk food diet.
A 14 year-old boy described as a “fussy eater” presented to his doctor with fatigue after years of eating meals rich in fries, white bread, chips and processed meat. He was told to take supplements when they found him to be iron and B12 deficient but progressively over the next 3 years he began to suffer from vision loss. Upon lab testing he was found to be deficient in iron, copper, selenium, Vitamin D and Vitamin B 12. And upon further testing was found to suffer from optic neuropathy.
He was further treated with supplements and now is under the care of specialists including nutritionists and eating disorder specialists.
His condition stabilized but reportedly he still has deficits such as blind spots in the middle of his vision (central scotoma), rendering him “legally blind.”
This wasn’t the first case of nutritional optic neuropathy.
Above is a picture of the fundi of a 28 year-old male who suffered from central vision loss as a result of his diet which consisted of heavy alcohol use. The progression of his disease has stabilized with intervention but he too has had to learn to adapt to his central scotoma.
Our eyes need vitamins such as A, a variety of B’s, C, E, and omega-3 fatty acids to name a few. Vitamin D is crucial for bone health and for protection against diabetes and cancer.
Most fast food is rich in carbohydrates, fats, salt and preservatives, and lacking in rich nutrients and amino acids.
So comes the question, are the majority of our youth “malnourished?”
Unless our children are eating diets rich is fruit, vegetables, whole grains, protein, dairy and health fats, they could be at risk of not receiving vital nutrition.
Vitamin supplementation helps but may not satisfy all the nutritional needs of a growing child. Hence in addition to the millions of children who suffer from malnourishment due to poverty, millions more are expected to suffer similarly as a result of poor diet choices.
This is a developing story.