17-Year-Old Goes Blind and Deaf After Years of Eating Junk Food

Image for illustration purpose only Image: Shutterstock/Thanthima Lim


I‘m sure all of us had dreams of eating junk food all day every day as a kid.

Not gonna lie. As a depressed adult, I still have that dream. It’s a lot easier to have dreams like that when you give up on being healthy.

(it’s a joke.)

Image: Top image from Imgflip, bottom from reddit.

But reading the following story, you’ll probably stop eating junk food for a while or at least take in more nutritious food from now on.

Boy from UK had a diet of French fries, Pringles and white bread

After leaving primary school (after 11 years old in the UK), Jake lived off a diet of French Fries, Pringles, and white bread, with the occasional ham and bangers (sausage). Yep, no fruit and vegetables.

I know you’re probably raising your pitchforks at this moment, waiting to point them at the parents of the kid, so let’s start with this fact: Jake has a rare eating illness called Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), where a person becomes very sensitive to certain aspects of food and totally avoids it.

So, it’s more than just a case of picky eating, since people with this disorder can actually vomit or gag from the food they want to avoid. For Jake’s case, he could not tolerate the texture of fruits and vegetables.

Chips and crisps were the only things he felt he could eat.


At 14 years old, he went to the doctor for tiredness. The doctor detected macrocytic anaemia and a low vitamin B12 level, which was treated with vitamin B12 injections and dietary advice.

But he didn’t improve his diet.

3 years later, he went to Bristol Eye Hospital due to a loss in vision

It is here, that Dr Denize Atan at Bristol Eye Hospital said he might be suffering from ARFID.

Jake was deficient in not only vitamin B12 but also other important vitamins and minerals like copper, selenium and vitamin D. So much so that he even lost minerals from his bones.

Hearing loss, bone weakness and almost blind

Even with all that above, on the outside, Jake looks almost normal, isn’t underweight or overweight, and in fact, used to play football.

There are blind spots in the middle of his eye, though he can still use his peripheral vision to walk on his own.

Blindness is caused by nutritional optic neuropathy, which is optic nerve damage because of nutritional deficiency.

Mum blames National Health Service (NHS) for not doing more

According to TheSun, his mum Angie did all she could.

“If I was reading this about somebody else’s child I would blame the parents for their poor diet.

“But I know I did all I could for Jake. I used to feed him fruit and vegetables and send him to school with a healthy lunch.

He would pick at his food at home like any child does. I didn’t realise it was so serious.

He looked healthy, was a good height and weight and played football with his friends.”

The reasoning here is that the medics kept saying it was all in Jake’s head, and by the time the disorder was properly diagnosed, it was already too late.

Angie has 2 more children who are eating healthily.

Jake has now dropped out of college and spends most of his time in his room. He encourages people to get help as soon as they realise they have an eating problem.

So, uh… petition to change #FastFoodFriday to #FreshFruitFriday? We can review things like the Yubari King or Gokusen Bananas.





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