Man eats nothing but chicken nuggets and chips for 20 years until sudden change
A man who ate chicken nuggets and chips almost every day for nearly two decades suddenly changed his diet in just minutes.
Ryan Howarth struggled to consume anything other than the low-nutrition meal from the age of four and felt like eating much more would be like eating insects.
The 21-year-old, from Andover, Hampshire, has Selective Eating Disorder, which left him eating chicken nuggets and chips for 90% of the last 17 years – occasionally being able to eat steak, sausage, pasta and sweets.
When offered other foods, the cinema host felt like they were so "foreign" that they were impossible for him to taste.
He even cried for 20 minutes when his mum asked him to try root vegetable mash.
The disorder saw him eat by himself, leave the room when everyone else was eating and have arguments with his parents
His family kept reminding him about the health risks of his diet, which led him to finding a therapist who persuaded him to try out some other foods before even leaving the room.
Within minutes, Ryan was eating a variety of dishes with no hesitation.
He said: "I used to just think that’s what my life was. I just ate the foods I wanted to.
"The way I reacted when someone asked me to eat more was the same way most people would react if I asked them to eat an exotic food, like insects. It just felt so foreign to me.
"My family started getting worried that my diet could cause health problems later on in life.
"When I was still in the room with Felix, I was eating a bunch of different foods without hesitation.
"Now I’m eating so many different things. There’s ones I like and there’s ones I don’t like, but I’m basically testing everything out.
"It’s amazing how I’m enjoying foods I never expected I’d like. I never thought I’d like pineapple, but now it’s one of my favorites.
Just one month after he’s been introducing these foods to his diet, Ryan already feels healthier.
Before the switch, he had a low energy levels, took a lot of vitamins to make up for the nutrients he wasn’t getting from his meals and ate a chocolate bar whenever he was feeling weak.
Ryan said: "It’s amazing. I feel healthier and I feel like I have more energy throughout the day.
"That was no way to live. I was eating candy to keep myself going. I had three cavities as a kid."
Another thing Ryan realized after changing his diet was that his eating disorder had a negative affect on his relationship with his family saying he alienated himself from everyone and dreaded going out to restaurants.
Ryan said: "I never used to eat with my family. I feel like I was letting them down and I was also letting myself down.
"Now I finally know what it’s like to sit and have a meal with my family. It’s really nice.
"I always tried to avoid going to restaurants or only went to ones where I could order the few foods I liked. Now I can finally go out to eat with my family and have lots of different foods to chose from."
His mum Christiane, 45, has noticed a drastic change in his personality since taking up the new diet.
She thinks he has been much more outgoing and friendlier than he had been lately.
The technical support representative has not had a single argument with her son since his therapy session.
She said: "It’s incredible how much he has changed. He’s been more outgoing and he’s helping me with things around the house.
"He recently went out to eat with his father. He hasn’t done that in years.
"His eating disorder caused a barrier between the family. We had a lot of fights and heated discussions and we haven’t had any of those lately.
"It’s amazing what is happening. My son is coming back."
The mum added that she no longer has to worry about the health risks of her son’s eating habits.
She said: "He always looked very pale and the few foods he ate can cause cancer.
"He’s already starting to look healthier. I’ve noticed some more color in his face. It’s only the beginning though."
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