Boy Blind and Deaf Because of Junk Food

A British boy would have become blind and deaf because he had lived with fries and white bread since he was seven.

Because of Junk Food

Who does this claim come from?

Special news from the British media: a 19-year-old boy from Bristol is said to have been deaf and blind because of eating junk food, Since he was 7, the boy only lived on fries and white bread, because he couldn't bear the texture of fruit and vegetables

Is it right?

Almost all reports, including those in British media such as The Sun , describe the incident primarily from the perspective of the boy and his parents. Nevertheless, the reason for reporting appears to have a serious scientific basis: the journal Annals of Internal Medicine for the first time shared the findings of its treating physicians.

The doctor's report shows that the lack of healthy food has indeed made the boy deaf and blind. Not so much the junk food itself, as some newspaper headlines suggested. For years, he received too little vitamin B12 and was thereby damaged in, among other things, his optic nerve. The 'official condition' is also real: it concerns the Arfid eating disorder , in which patients eat far too little or cannot tolerate food of certain colors, tastes or textures.

"I had never heard of such a serious case," says Sandra Mulkens , professor by special appointment at the University of Maastricht, specializing in Arfid. How the eating disorder turns out varies enormously per patient, she explains. One is terrified of choking on hard pieces of food and only wants to eat custard, the other is frightened of eating leaves.

'A special story', says eating disorder professor Eric van Furth of the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). According to him, it shows that an eating disorder can have very serious consequences if the parents do not seek help in time. Mulkens agrees: in the treatment center to which she is affiliated, she often sees that children with Arfid are only referred by the doctor when they already feel sick. "Often they are already dependent on probe or supplementary feeding."
Mulkens can use the scientific report about the boy well for her practice: it again provides technical clues to map certain nutritional deficiencies in Arfid patients.

Final assessment

It was not junk food, but the lack of healthy food that made a British boy with the eating disorder Arfid blind and deaf.

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