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Poor Nutrition Leads to Blindness in Teen

Poor Nutrition Leads to Blindness in Teen

Poor Nutrition Leads to Blindness in Teen

The story headlined WedMD, FoxNews, and CNN this week. A British teen who ate only potato chips, French fries, cold cuts, and white bread for years went blind due to his poor nutrition.

Although the boy’s food choices consisted of high-calorie carb-heavy foods, his BMI and weight stayed in the normal range. 

“But the lack of essential vitamins and minerals took its toll. Anemia set in, his bone mineral density plummeted, and his levels of vitamin B-12, vitamin D, copper and selenium all cratered,” reported WebMD.com.

His lack of nutrition first led to tiredness. Hearing and vision problems then developed before he was diagnosed with “nutritional optic neuropathy.”

The boy’s diagnosis is a rare and extreme case. It highlights the importance of a varied diet for the sake of health, not just weight. Diets limited to a few foods, especially highly-processed foods, reduce the consumption of vitamins and nutrients our bodies need to function well.

Vitamin supplements can replace some vitamins we don’t receive from our diet. However, they’re meant to be a supplement, not our sole source of vitamins. The best way to receive vitamins and nutrients is through the foods we eat. A diet of unprocessed foods, vegetables, and fruits provides benefits beyond better-controlled weight and blood glucose levels.

Picky Eaters

For parents of picky eaters, it’s tempting to give in to their preferred foods. Nutritionists encourage parents to continue offering a variety of foods and then encourage their children to try new menu items. Some children and adults experience a heightened sensitivity to certain foods and food textures. They may benefit from a visiting a nutritionist and primary care provider as a great first step to improving the variations of foods they consume.

For most children, picky eating is a phase. Others may require a combination of physician care and mental health therapy to move past their extreme picky eating. 

If you’re looking for ways to increase the variety of nutrient-dense foods in your diet, try our Witcher’s Weight Loss Warriors. This group meets every Monday and provides information on menu planning and food education. Or if you believe your or your child’s picky eating has stretched on for years and you need additional help, contact us for an appointment with one of our providers or our registered dietician. 

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