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Teenage boy went blind by living mostly on junk food, study finds

A teenage boy who subsisted primarily on junk food went blind from his poor diet, according to a new study.

The 17-year-old, who lives in the United Kingdom, first went to the doctor at age 14 complaining of tiredness, the Annals of Internal Medicine wrote in the study abstract. By the time his doctors discovered that nutrition was the probable cause, his vision was irrevocably damaged.

Though he was a self-described fussy eater, the teen was healthy in all other respects and wasn’t on any medication, said researchers at the University of Bristol in England. Tests showed he had a form of anemia and low vitamin B12 levels. After B12 injections and dietary advice, the doctor sent him home.

However, it did not end there. A year later the boy, who was then 15, had hearing loss and vision symptoms, but doctors couldn’t find a cause, the researchers said in a statement.

Two years after that, he was 17 and legally blind. That’s when they discovered a severe vitamin B12 deficiency, low copper and selenium levels, high zinc levels and “markedly reduced” vitamin D and bone mineral density, the researchers said.

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