There really is a reason your mom told you to eat your veggies!
A 19-year-old in the UK has gone blind after existing on a diet of chips, Pringles and processed ham.
The teenager, who has been forced to drop out of college, lost his eyesight after his body became totally deficient in several key vitamins including B12, copper and Vitamin D.
Over the course of three years, starting when he was 14, the unnamed boy slowly lost his vision due to a condition known as nutritional optic neuropathy (NON).
While he kept a normal height and weight the lack of vital vitamins caused irreversible damage to the nerve at the back of his eyes.
Speaking to the Times, he said, “I’ve become very isolated. When I was little, I’d go out and play football with my friends. I’m too frightened to do that now.”
He blames doctors for stepping in too late and not helping him earlier by giving him a diet that could’ve halted the disease.
“When I asked for help, they didn’t listen to me,” he says.
Dr Denize Atan told MailOnline, “He has only eaten chips, Pringles, sausages and other processed foods since he was primary school age.
“It’s the most serious case I’ve ever seen of blindness caused by junk food.
“He was clearly getting enough calories, but not nutrients. When the problems started he seemed, on the outside, like a health 14-year-old boy.
“His family actually bought him the chips because if he didn’t eat them then he wouldn’t eat anything. They tried hard to introduce veg and fruit to his diet.
“He’s now legally blind and can only read the top letter on an optician’s chart.”
His mother, who’s quit her job working in the pub to look after her son full-time, told the Telegraph, “He has no social life to speak of now. After leaving school he got into college to do a course in IT. But he had to give it up because he couldn’t see or hear anything.
“He’d love a job – but he hasn’t been able to find anything he can do.”
Nutritional optic neuropathy is a slow, painless condition that gradually sees the sufferer lose vision. It’s sometimes accompanied by colour-blindness.
The consumption of B vitamins, found in whole foods and leafy vegetables, is vital to maintain good vision.
Sources: Daily Mail, The Sun, The Times