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Does a diet high in ultra-processed foods cause deafness/blindness?

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  • ookooladyookoolady Posts: 5Member Member Posts: 5Member Member
    I used to work for an ophthalmologist. Back in the 1980's he examined a Cambodian woman who had gone blind. She thought it was because she had cried so much after soldiers killed her family. When asked about her diet, she said she had eaten only white rice and tea for many years. The doctor advised her to eat vegetables and take vitamins but it was probably too late to restore her vision.
  • ktekcktekc Posts: 864Member Member Posts: 864Member Member
    i remember watching a TV show and there was a picky eater child as a character who developed survy because of lack of vitamin c - so its not unheard of but how the mom let it get that far...

    i think it was on House the kid would only eat one kind of frozen cheeseburger or something.
  • yukfooyukfoo Posts: 594Member Member Posts: 594Member Member
    thanos5 wrote: »
    my mom claimed many things would make me blind.

    My mom did too. I just did them 'til I needed glasses.
  • ceiswynceiswyn Posts: 2,054Member Member Posts: 2,054Member Member
    thanos5 wrote: »
    my mom claimed many things would make me blind.

    My mother told me to eat up my crusts, it would make my hair curly.

    As a result, I avoided eating crusts for five years. I really wanted straight hair so bad...
  • The_EnginerdThe_Enginerd Posts: 3,915Member Member Posts: 3,915Member Member
    I had some additional thoughts that occurred to me later and after seeing other discussion including poor populations, which eat almost no processed food but have a limited diet do to lack of resources. It's really the lack of dietary variety and nutrient deficiencies which could lead to this (provided that is actually what caused it in this case). The Golden Rice Project exists for this very reason. I imagine the stereotypical diet of chicken and broccoli lacks many important nutrients that would cause issues in the long term if not supplemented with a more varied diet (and sadly, I've been on MFP long enough to see someone eating nothing but this and receiving guidance to eat a more varied diet).
  • ritzvinritzvin Posts: 2,400Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,400Member, Premium Member
    i remember watching a TV show and there was a picky eater child as a character who developed survy because of lack of vitamin c - so its not unheard of but how the mom let it get that far...

    not unheard of in college dorms either.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,142Member Member Posts: 12,142Member Member
    I'm pretty sure that if there's a point about the food intake per se, it's primarily about nutrition, not about "ultra processed".

    Most protein bars, for example, are ultra-processed foods, but not especially low in nutrients. Meal replacement shakes are usually ultra-processed foods, but they work pretty hard to make them fairly nutrient rich.

    "Ultra processed" makes for a click-bait-y-er headline than "poor nutrition", though.

    P.S. Not disagreeing with what others are saying about the coverage ignoring the role of psychological issues, either. There are multiple missed opportunities to enlighten in how this has been covered.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 19,731Member Member Posts: 19,731Member Member
    i remember watching a TV show and there was a picky eater child as a character who developed survy because of lack of vitamin c - so its not unheard of but how the mom let it get that far...

    Sad. The British Royal Navy implemented solutions for scurvy by the late 1700s.

    How old was the child?

    If say 4-8 years old, only 25 mg of C is needed to prevent deficiency diseases like scurvy in a child that age.

    That's half of a small orange.

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    Or less than a half cup of frozen orange juice

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  • Diatonic12Diatonic12 Posts: 2,819Member Member Posts: 2,819Member Member
    It's not only children but adults who will only eat mono-meals with comorbidity conditions. Their food rules may vary but they are adamant and unwavering. It varies but they have strong food rules. Food groups can't touch on the plate, won't eat meat, fish or vegetables...they'll refuse to eat and sit there for hours.
  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Posts: 4,511Member Member Posts: 4,511Member Member
    I don't think we should characterize this as "picky eating" - it sounds like he had some sensory problems or other issues related to food. My own son has had feeding problems since he was a baby with a horrific gag reflex, a weak swallow, and awful acid reflux. He started refusing to eat entirely at 5 months old and he had to be admitted to the hospital (and now has a feeding tube). He is doing a bit better after 3 years of working on feeding with a speech therapist (SLPs do feeding therapy here), but still has a feeding tube because he doesn't eat enough by mouth yet to get all his nutrition.

    I say all this to point out (because I have seen lots of comments on this article on other platforms) that just sending kids to their room without dinner or making them sit at the table until they eat it are not the solution in every case because it's not always just a kid being picky. There are kids out there who would let themselves starve - not out of stubbornness, misbehavior or other things, but because they have medical conditions that make eating difficult or traumatic - and children don't always have the words or emotional maturity or awareness to assess what is going on with themselves or properly convey it to adults. The teen in this case might not have gotten so bad if they had got him set up with therapists for speech/feeding and emotional therapy/coping techniques. It is important to spread awareness of these issues rather than demonizing as "picky eating" because otherwise parents don't know there is help out there.

    I feel like if this child’s eating problem was that severe, the doctors looking at his deafness and blindness should have been aware of his eating issues. Instead, the reporting makes it sound as if his mother was surprised that his diet could have any effect on his health.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 19,731Member Member Posts: 19,731Member Member
    I don't think we should characterize this as "picky eating" - it sounds like he had some sensory problems or other issues related to food. My own son has had feeding problems since he was a baby with a horrific gag reflex, a weak swallow, and awful acid reflux. He started refusing to eat entirely at 5 months old and he had to be admitted to the hospital (and now has a feeding tube). He is doing a bit better after 3 years of working on feeding with a speech therapist (SLPs do feeding therapy here), but still has a feeding tube because he doesn't eat enough by mouth yet to get all his nutrition.

    I say all this to point out (because I have seen lots of comments on this article on other platforms) that just sending kids to their room without dinner or making them sit at the table until they eat it are not the solution in every case because it's not always just a kid being picky. There are kids out there who would let themselves starve - not out of stubbornness, misbehavior or other things, but because they have medical conditions that make eating difficult or traumatic - and children don't always have the words or emotional maturity or awareness to assess what is going on with themselves or properly convey it to adults. The teen in this case might not have gotten so bad if they had got him set up with therapists for speech/feeding and emotional therapy/coping techniques. It is important to spread awareness of these issues rather than demonizing as "picky eating" because otherwise parents don't know there is help out there.

    I feel like if this child’s eating problem was that severe, the doctors looking at his deafness and blindness should have been aware of his eating issues. Instead, the reporting makes it sound as if his mother was surprised that his diet could have any effect on his health.

    Yes, that's my takeaway as well. There was certainly plenty of time between noticing his avoidance at age 7 and beginning of adverse symptoms at age 14.

    https://www.vibe.com/2019/09/bristol-teen-blind-deaf-processed-foods

    An English teen is now blind and deaf after only eating processed foods for a decade.

    ... she first noticed her son's diet change when he was seven years old. He only ate French fries, potato chips, processed ham, sausages, and white bread.

    ...His teachers became concerned too.

    ... because he didn't gain any weight they didn't initially see a problem.

    ...His mother was stunned when she learned of her son's disorder and how it relates to disability now.

    ...Dr. Denize Atan who tends to the teen said he's eating mostly the same foods from before. His nutrition, however, has improved due to supplements.
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