PRADEEP RANA | NEW DELHI
A teenage boy who has been eating only fries, chips and ham has gone near-blind as a result of
extreme deficiency of essential nutrients in the body, a latest study has reported.
The 14 year old boy, whose name has been withheld, was initially brought before the doctors with complaint of exhaustion,
loss in hearing and failing vision. Apparently, the cause of deteriorating health could not be pin pointed then.
Over the next two years his vision continued to deteriorate and was down to 20/200 which is considered “blind” in the US. The diagnosis
revealed that the optic nerve connecting eyes to brain were was damaged, because of prolonged deficiency of
Vitamin D and Vitamin B12, copper, and selenium – the essentials that are available in normal diet.
The latest study cited by eminent public health specialist Dr K K Aggarwal, from the Annals of Internal Medicine,
has only confirmed the worst fears what junk food is doing to busy professional men and women,
school going children suffering from what doctor call selective eating disorder.
“Instead of junk food like pizzas, burgers, chips, opt for natural fast food such as bananas, orange, dry fruits, and milk.
Reduce salt intake as much as possible, lower the better Most importantly, balance your food choices with your activity level,” says Dr Aggarwal.
The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has welcomed the latest measures against junk food by India’s food watchdog FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) but feels a lot more need to be done.
“These foods are most ambitiously advertised, especially among children, using ways such as attractive and bright-colour packaging, use of cartoon characters, kids’ favourite celebrities… to make kids buy and eat,” says Sonal Dhingra, Deputy Programme Manager, Food Safety & Toxins Programme, CSE.
The malaise in India has been further corroborated by another research by George Institute of Global Health of Australia last month which has found India’s packaged food is among the “most unhealthy” in the world. There is no control on sugar, salt, bad fats and calories that are responsible for obesity and various Non Communicable Diseases such as Ischemic heart Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Stroke, and Type 2 Diabetes, it says.