Tuesday, September 03, 2019

The Picky Eater

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik, seriouseats.com

I am a picky eater.

I've been one for most of my life.

I've been mocked for it and embarrassed about it for as long as I can remember.

So it was that I read with horror the story of a 17-year-old near Bristol in England who has reportedly gone blind due to his diet.

The linked story from the BBC reports that the unnamed teen, "...had been eating only French fries, Pringles and white bread, as well as an occasional slice of ham or a sausage.

"Tests revealed he had severe vitamin deficiencies and malnutrition damage."

Yes, efforts were made to give the teen B-12 injections, as well as improve his diet, but he did improve. His diet stayed the same and he stopped taking the injections.

It's a horrible story, but one that could also be avoided.

The key takeaway from the BBC story is this quote from Dr Denize Atan of the Bristol Eye Hospital: "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."

I appreciate literally everything that is said in that statement. Texture -- every bit as much as taste -- has been my problem for probably 45 years or more.

So to an extent, I sympathize, but again, the youth did have efforts made to improve the situation, including vitamin injections.

Still, it's a sad story.

It's a cautionary tale.

This young man will never drive and supposedly can't read a book or watch TV. He'll have peripheral vision, but that's about it.


But, again, I get it to a point. My eating has improved over the years, but I know the scourge of having a meal put in front of you that will, at best, only be able to gag down.

I've been known to create little piles of chunks from tomato sauce, for instance, hoping no one will notice. I still enjoy the meal, but that's my compromise.

I realize that I'm my own worst enemy, and deserve no sympathy.

So, I guess I'm babbling.

I hope that young man can improve to the point where he can still have a life of some kind.

But the next time you come across a picky eater, go easy on them.

It's not as easy to fix as you might think.

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