- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 3, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A teenager in the United Kingdom went deaf and blind because of poor eating habits, according to researchers from the University of Bristol who wrote about his case in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

And when we say poor eating habits, we mean — he ate nothing but potato chips, french fries, white bread, processed meat and similarly low-to-no nutrition junk foods, for more than a decade.

This is his caretakers’ fault.

They’re the ones, after all, who had the power of the purse when it came to food, and what was brought in the house, what was set at the table, what was packed for lunch. It’s not hard to say no to a 7-year-old, an 8-year-old, a 9-year-old, etc. All you have to do is say: No.

This is a sad commentary on the state of way too many modern day parents who are afraid to discipline their kids because doing so might offend them, or cause them to suffer negative feelings.



Here’s the story. As Fox News reported, the boy was 14, described by his caretakers as a “fussy eater,” and prescribed by the family doctor B12 injections to help alleviate his tiredness. He was also advised: Clean up the diet or face some serious health consequences.

A year later, the boy was suffering from vision and hearing impairments, as well as from bone weakness. And by the age of 17, he was declared legally blind — a blindness that later tests showed came about because of copper and vitamin D deficiency.

Now doctors are using this kid as a warning to others to eat more than french fries and junk.

Ya think?

The boy’s mother, in the Telegraph, said his vision and hearing losses have “devastated his life” and dramatically altered hers, to the point where he’s dropped out of college and she’s quit work to stay home and take care of him.

And then came this: He’s still not changed his diet. In fact, his mother said that after “counseling, we managed to start him on fruit smoothies — but he’s gone off those now.” He eats “pretty much the same” as before his vision and hearing loss; he eats junk and more junk, his mother said.

OK. So by now, this kid is an adult. He can choose his diet as he sees fit.

But what about the previous decade-plus when he was a minor, under the legal control of his caretakers?

A mother who would allow her little boy to eat nothing but junk — beyond the point of permanently damaging the nervous system, as doctors, in this case, diagnosed — is what the foster world would call negligent, even abusive.

At the least, she’s overly intimidated, too scared to exert her parental authority.

And on that last — what a shame. Parenting these days has become far too frequently a popularity contest, where adults bend over backwards to coddle their kids so as to keep their self-esteem from crumbling and to keep their own likability factor intact.

These spoiled and entitled children grow into spoiled and entitled adults, who then turn around and demand society at-large treat them in the same accommodating manners as their foolhardy parents.

This blind and deaf kid isn’t just a warning off junk food.

He’s a warning where bad parenting can lead.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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