There are plenty of fussy eaters out there, and it’s often something people just adapt to and learn to live off. Many people dislike certain foods for taste, texture, or even for what goes into the food itself.
Sadly, hundreds of thousands of people around the world suffer from eating disorders that massively impact their day-to-day lives.
One teenager from the U.K has discovered the damaging effects of maintaining a poor and nutritionless diet from his eating disorder by losing nearly all of his sight and hearing. Keep scrolling to learn more…
What we put into our diets is vital for our health.
Good nutrition is the key to a long and healthy life.
According to the HHS (U.S Department of Health & Human Services), even for people at a healthy weight, a poor diet is associated with major health risks that can cause illness and even death.
America’s Health Rankings found that in 2017, thirty-one-percent of adult Americans were considered clinically obese.
These include heart attacks, heart disease, strokes, mental illnesses, some forms of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
It is super important that these individuals ensure they are getting the correct vitamins and nutrition in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is an eating disorder that is characterized by the person completely avoiding certain foods or food groups.
They may be extremely sensitive to the taste, smell, appearance, or texture of food, or may even only eat foods of a certain temperature.
Certain individuals begin choking or vomiting when they get near food which can trigger anxiety and fear around the notion of eating.
But in many cases, people who suffer from ARFID don’t realize that they have a disorder and simply stick to eating the only food groups that they will go near.
ARFID can often look like just a fussy eater…
It is important for individuals to be diagnosed with the eating disorder, rather than simply being branded as a picky eater.
Diagnosis can lead to help and resolutions towards the disorder which can ultimately save a person’s life.
The seventeen-year-old, who remains anonymous, is from Bristol in the U.K and has suffered from ARDIF since being a young boy.
When he was forteen-years-old, he was taken to his GP complaining of tiredness, but he was simply branded a fussy eater and was declared relatively healthy despite his consistent diet of nothing but white bread, chips, french fries, and some forms of processed meat.
Since the age of fifteen, his hearing began dwindling – and as did his vision.
His poor diet caused him to suffer from nutritional optic neuropathy which in his case has left the fibers in his optic nerves so badly damaged that they can never be repaired.
The sad reality about this young man’s case is that if the condition is caught early, it can be fully treated.
Speaking to The Guardian, she said about his childhood: “The first we knew about it was when he began coming home from primary school with his packed lunch untouched.”
“I would make him nice sandwiches – and put an apple or other fruit in – and he wouldn’t eat any of it. His teachers became concerned, too,” she went on to say.
“His brother and sister have never stopped eating. They love everything. He has always been skinny, so we had no weight concerns. You hear about junk food and obesity all the time – but he was as thin as a rake.”
“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 could not see or hear anything,” his mom explained.
“He would love a job, but he has not been able to find anything he can do. I had to quit my job in a pub. I now look after him full-time. He is taking vitamin supplements, but his diet is still pretty much the same,” she went on to say.
“When he was having counselling we managed to start him on fruit smoothies. But he’s gone off those now.”
Dr. Denize Atan, who treated the teenager at Bristol Eye Hospital, also spoke to The Guardian and said: “He had a daily portion of fries from the local fish and chip shop and snacked on Pringles, white bread, processed ham slices, and sausage.
“He explained this as an aversion to certain textures of food that he really could not tolerate, and so chips and crisps were really the only types of food that he wanted and felt that he could eat.”
The teenager’s mom insists she didn’t realize the extent of his poor diet, but shouldn’t any parent be concerned when their child has never consumed fruit or vegetables in their lives?
The doctors found out that the boy was severely malnourished, which will have come from years of lack of nutrition. At the end of the day, it is a parent’s responsibility to ensure their children are either eating well or receive professional help if they are not.
To learn more about the struggles of eating disorders, keep scrolling…