A common belief in Sweden is that carrot improve your eyesight and I was told many times when I was little to eat carrots. Although anecdotaly I have perfect vision without carrot-gluttony.

Is there any supporting evidence for that claim?

Related Does bilberry improve eyesight?

  • 8
    I've read (don't remember where) that it was a myth put together by UK intelligence in WWII as a cover up for the invention of the radar. "How come the Brits are shooting down our planes much better now?" "Because they are eating carrots" (No srsly, I've read it).
    – Sklivvz
    Commented May 2, 2011 at 16:27
  • 6
    A more interesting question is whether NOT eating enough vitamin-A rich food can worsen your eyesight
    – user5341
    Commented May 2, 2011 at 16:52
  • 6
    @ Sklivvz: Wikipedia has it, in Carrot: "An urban legend ... developed from stories of British gunners in World War II, who were able to shoot down German planes in the darkness of night. ... during the Battle of Britain when the RAF circulated a story about their pilots' carrot consumption as an attempt to cover up the discovery and effective use of radar technologies ... use of red light ... in aircraft instruments. ... helped to encourage Britons—looking to improve their night vision during the blackouts—to grow and eat the vegetable." Commented May 2, 2011 at 23:02
  • @Sklivvz I was taught the very same at school :)
    – Ardesco
    Commented May 3, 2011 at 13:10
  • Heard about it, too, in southern Europe. But it was attached to a joke that ended with "Of course! Have you ever seen a rabbit with eyeglasses?"
    – Peltio
    Commented Nov 29, 2015 at 17:20

1 Answer 1


This has been extensively debunked by many medical sites, and Snopes. Here are some links:

From Snopes:

While carrots are a good source of vitamin A (which is important for healthy eyesight, skin, growth, and resisting infection), eating them won't improve vision. The purported link between carrots and markedly acute vision is a matter of lore, not of science. And it's lore of the deliberately manufactured type. In World War II, Britain's air ministry spread the word that a diet of these vegetables helped pilots see Nazi bombers attacking at night. That was a lie intended to cover the real matter of what was underpinning the Royal Air Force's successes: Airborne Interception Radar, also known as AI. The secret new system pinpointed some enemy bombers before they reached the English Channel. British Intelligence didn't want the Germans to find out about the superior new technology helping protect the nation, so they created a rumor to afford a somewhat plausible-sounding explanation for the sudden increase in bombers being shot down. News stories began appearing in the British press about extraordinary personnel manning the defenses, including Flight Lieutenant John Cunningham, an RAF pilot dubbed "Cats Eyes" on the basis of his exceptional night vision that allowed him to spot his prey in the dark. Cunningham's abilities were chalked up to his love of carrots. Further stories claimed RAF pilots were being fed goodly amounts of this root vegetable to foster similar abilities.

The beneficial effect of eating carrots on those with vision loss due to vitamin A deficiency was well know before, and that may have been the inspiration for the story.

  • 18
    Wow, that is a much more interesting answer than I had hoped for. :D
    – Kit Sunde
    Commented May 2, 2011 at 23:08
  • My mom keeps telling me to eat more carrots to improve my eyesight. I wish she would see this.
    – Jason
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 10:24
  • 1
    According to this carrot eating was encouraged in WWII Britain for the much more mundane reason of reducing demand for rationed goods. Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 0:29
  • Wow! Who knew that AI was a "thing" in WWII! Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 17:33
  • This answer also raises that it may have been related to WW2 propaganda so Germans wouldn't be aware of radars. (Seems dubious in itself; just pointing it out.) Commented May 1, 2019 at 19:38

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