In the first case of its kind, a boy in the United Kingdom is likely to go blind due to a rare eating disorder, reports News18

Economic Times

The unidentified 17-year-old, who was sustaining himself on chips, white bread and processed meat, is suffering from avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) since primary school.

Reportedly, the same disorder made him dislike the taste and texture of fruits and vegetables. 


Due to the boy’s poor diet, his body suffers from various vitamin deficiencies, which eventually led to nutritional optic neuropathy (NON), a condition that is prevalent among malnourished children in developing countries. 

Something like this happening in the United Kingdom was unheard of before this particular incident. 

West Coast Retina

Apart from the serious deficiencies, the boy’s optic nerve has been damaged, leading to sight loss. The condition, if untreated, can lead to complete blindness. 

The 17-year-old is also said to be suffering from developing hearing loss and bone weakness. 

Dr. Denize Atan, the author of the report published in Annals of Internal Medicine, which cited the teen’s example, spoke to The Telegraph, and said:  

What’s unusual about this case is the extreme picky eating and the fact it had gone on for quite some time, that the diagnosis had been missed and the visual loss had become permanent. 

Pointing out how the world lacks awareness about the ill-effects of eating junk, Atan continued: 

The link between poor nutrition and vision has been known about for quite some time, at least among specialists in neuro-ophthalmology. The problem is that awareness among other health professionals isn’t quite so high.

The boy went to the doctor on multiple occasions but every time his parents failed to notice the red flags, which were slowly deteriorating the boy’s internal organs. 

His first trip to a general physician came at the age of 14, when he was just labelled as a “fussy eater”. 

Positive Parenting Solutions

His condition became worse by the age of 17 and doctors realised he had low copper and vitamin D levels. 

Ultimately, a low vision of 20/200 (almost blind) and other factors led to the boy being diagnosed with NON, which his mother claims “devastated his life”.