At age three, Jade Youngman from Norwich has not been eating vegetables and other healthy foods. If you think that this is only a normal situation for kids at this age, you’re wrong. Youngman is actually suffering from a condition known as avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID). According to Beat, an eating disorder charity, people suffering from this avoiding or restrict themselves in taking food in terms of the overall amount, range of foods, or both.
|Photo Credit: Unilad|
In Youngman’s case, she feels an intense distaste and aversion for healthier foods. She has already tried hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy to help her but they didn’t work. “The way I describe how I feel is that if someone puts a plate of fruit or vegetables in front of me, it’s the equivalent of putting a plate of dog poo down and saying, ‘Eat that.’ It will make me vomit if I eat it. It will make me wretch and gag to have it in front of me,” she said.
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According to UNILAD, a British internet media company and website, Youngman has been trying to eat fruit and vegetables because it will benefit her, but she simply can’t. That’s why she’s lived on a plain diet of pizza, pasta, nuggets, and chips for the past 22 years. Unfortunately, there are several implications of this lifestyle. One of them is that she can go blind due to a condition known as nutritional optic neuropathy. This usually happens when the optic nerves lose their ability to transfer visual information to the brain because of a lack of vitamins.
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One of those who have experienced this is 18-year-old Harvey. He went blind in October 2018 due to a near-exclusive diet of chips, crisps, and chocolate. A 17-year-old in Bristol had the same issue. Earlier this September, he was left blind and deaf due to serious nutritional deficiency. He has been eating chips, Pringles, white bread, processed ham, and sausages exclusively for many years.