Doctors say picky teen's diet of nothing but fries and chips caused blindness

A British teen who eats nothing but chips and crisps lost his vision due to vitamin deficiency, doctors say. / Source: (Canva)

(CBS) -- An English boy who eats nothing but fries, chips and the occasional piece of ham lost his eyesight due to an extreme vitamin deficiency in his diet doctors said, according to a CBS News report.

"His diet was essentially a portion of chips [fries] from the local fish and chip shop every day," the doctor, Denize Atan, told CBS News partner network BBC News. "He also used to snack on crisps [chips] — Pringles — and sometimes slices of white bread and occasional slices of ham, and not really any fruit and vegetables."

Atan said she first treated the boy at age 14 after he complained of chronic tiredness. He was diagnosed with anemia and a deficiency in vitamin B12, along with copper, selenium and vitamin D. Atan gave the boy B12 injections and told him he'd have to start eating a more varied diet.

However, improving his diet proved difficult. His "aversion to certain textures of food that he really could not tolerate… chips and crisps were really the only types of food that he wanted and felt that he could eat."

Doctors said the boy suffers from a condition called "Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder" (ARFID). Previously known as Selective Eating Disorder.

"He had lost minerals from his bone, which was really quite shocking for a boy of his age," Atan told the BBC.

As for his eyes, he is still able to walk around on his own because he retained his peripheral vision, but with blind spots in the center of his vision he will never be able to drive and would find it difficult to read, watch TV or discern faces.

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