FAB RESEARCH COMMENT:
As this case report makes clear, while severe deficiencies in essential nutrients such as Vitamin A may be thankfully rare in developed, high-income countries, their possibility should never be overlooked by clinicians.
In this case, a young girl suffered irreversible loss of vision after following a highly resrticted diet for over 2 years. Severe Vitamin A deficiency was identified in the end - but by then it was too late to save her sight.
Recent years have seen a increase in the number of children with selective - and seriously restricted - eating patterns. These are often (but by no means always) associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder or other developmental conditions.
Given the fundamental importance of nutrition, asking some questions about diet always makes sense. However, many health professionals need more nutritional education and training themselves, as there is still minimal attention paid to nutrition in most medical training courses.
Doctors also need to be able to make referrals to specialist dietitians - or other suitably qualified professionals - when needed, to help these children and their families to avoid serious malnutiriton.
For more information on selective eating, see: