Teen's Vision Loss, Hearing Decline Linked to Years of Eating Only Junk Food

Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to vision and hearing problems

The junk-food laden diet of a British teen and long-time “fussy eater” may have contributed to the deterioration of his vision and hearing, NBC News reported Tuesday, citing a new report published in the scientific journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

When the boy was 14, he complained to his family doctor of tiredness, according to the report. The doctor gave him vitamin B12 injections and advice on his diet, but within the next year the teen began to lose his hearing and was referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist. Shortly after, he developed problems with his vision.

"He had a daily portion of fries from the local fish and chip shop and snacked on Pringles, white bread, processed ham slices and sausages,” the report said.

Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to vision and hearing problems, but in developed countries, "purely dietary causes" for such vision problems are rare, the authors wrote. In the teen's case, nutritional deficiencies in several essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins and copper, probably played a role in his vision and hearing loss.

The 2019 Xtreme Eating Awards are out, highlighting what the Center for Science in the Public Interest describes as "nutritional nightmares." "Most of our award winners had a least an entire day's calories," says CSPI senior nutritionist Lindsay Moyer.

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