An 18-year-old with a crippling fear of food textures reveals he lives on 100 chicken nuggets a week.
David, from Darlington, England, has stunned everyone with his unusual diet. Shockingly, the 18-year-old boy hadn’t eaten a vegetable in years due to a life-long fear of mushy food, as per Daily Mail.
In an attempt to overcome his fears, David has agreed to participate in the UK’s W Channel’s Extreme Food Phobics show.
Speaking to the TV show’s host Dr. Ranj, the young man has allegedly revealed he could be consuming up to 500 grams of saturated fat weekly. This puts him at a high risk of obesity and other health issues, including Type 2 diabetes, a heart attack, or even a stroke.
In the episode, David admits:
“If someone said my diet is ridiculous I would agree. But I would explain it’s something deep in the back of my mind that I can’t change which is why I’ve come to the clinic today to hopefully get some help…
I’ve struggled putting on weight all my life so eating fruits and vegetables will just make me feel so much healthier.”
Suddenly that sharer box of 20 nuggets doesn't seem like such an achievement… Brand new #ExtremeFoodPhobics with @DrRanj continues tonight at 8pm! pic.twitter.com/W8hzTTqAWh
— W (@wchannel) September 29, 2021
The chicken nuggets eater fears his younger siblings may adopt his unhealthy eating habits.
David, who is one of six children, confesses:
“It’s awful to see my brother has started to eat this way and I know it’s because of me he’s started to become the same.”
Credits: W Channel / Extreme Food Phobics
Trying to explain the essence of his fear to Dr. Ranj, the young man says:
“I think it’s because I don’t like trying new textures, like mushy food, mashed potatoes. It’s just crispy textures I like really. It [mushy food] makes me gag and makes me feel sick.”
As for his mother, David notes:
“It’s been hard for her, it’s stressful. I have my own freezer at home full of chicken bits so I can make my own bits while she makes tea for my siblings.
It’s quite embarrassing if I go for a meal with my friends. If I went for a meal I would have to order off the kids menu or get chicken nuggets or something like that. I’ve got to look at the menu before I go to make sure there’s something I like, there have been times I haven’t gone and it’s because there’s nothing I like there.”
Dr. Ranj warns David his bizarre diet puts him in danger of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes.
The expert tells the 18-year-old:
“The problem with processed food like chicken nuggets is it’s quite high in saturated fat, which isn’t good for you.
On a weekly basis, if you’re eating about 100 nuggets you’re probably getting between 400 and 500 grams of fat every week, that’s two blocks of butter.
Currently, the recommended daily allowance of saturated fat is only 30 grams a day.”
In a bid to get out of his comfort zone, David wanted to try mashed potatoes that usually terrify him because of their texture. It was part of the first step of his rehabilitation – aversion therapy with the leading food phobia expert Anthony Tait.
Upon tasting the mushy dish, David says:
“I think it just looks like a pile of my worst nightmare. [It makes me feel] Quite sickly, anxious, like I’ve got butterflies. I think it’s just the look of it and the texture of it, it’s hard to swallow. I feel like it’ll never go down, it’s never-ending. I think it could be something deep down to do with choking or fear of it getting stuck.“
“Just the texture of it, even touching them, it just makes me feel sick. It feels like there’s something on my finger that shouldn’t be there, just doesn’t feel right.“
The second step of David’s therapy is hypnosis, aiming to create new neural pathways to tackle food phobia.
Clinical psychologist Felix Economakis clarifies that the teen’s subconscious is trying to protect him from an unknown threat. The specialist also emphasizes that his patient’s health will be impacted while under hypnosis.
Following this stage of his treatment, David was allegedly feeling “much better” and “more confident” to try foods different than chicken nuggets.
Four weeks into therapy, the young man says his journey has been incredibly beneficial.
“It’s been amazing the whole experience, now I can try anything and if I don’t like it I don’t like it.
I’m looking forward to going for meals with my family, not worrying about what I’m going to order or what I’m going to eat.”