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UK Girl, 19, Ate Nothing But Margherita Pizza For 8 Years

London, Mar 30: Sophie Ray, a 19-year-old girl from Wrexham, Wales,  has eaten nothing but Margherita pizza for the past eight years.Sophie has not had a proper meal since she was two, and from the

PTI [ Updated: March 30, 2012 17:32 IST ]
uk girl 19 ate nothing but margherita pizza for 8 years
uk girl 19 ate nothing but margherita pizza for 8 years

London, Mar 30: Sophie Ray, a 19-year-old girl from Wrexham, Wales,  has eaten nothing but Margherita pizza for the past eight years.


Sophie has not had a proper meal since she was two, and from the age of 11 she has subsisted solely on cheese and tomato pizza, Daily Mail reported.

The teenager says she now gags if she touches anything but the takeaway meal, and even a slice of pepperoni is enough to turn her stomach.

Sophie Ray suffers from a rare condition called Selective Eating Disorder (SED), which means she has a phobia of almost all foods, leaving her petrified to try new dishes.

Her problem began when she was struck down by a stomach bug, gastroenteritis,  when she was two years old.

Following the illness, Sophie began to fear food and could only face eating cheesy pasta, chips and lemon curd sandwiches.

By 11, she would eat only piping hot plain pizzas with no extra toppings - sometimes up to three a day.

The performing arts student said: 'I love pizza, each brand offers a new flavour, but it's all the same food so I don't have to try new foods.

'I began selective eating when I was two. My mum said after I was ill, I became frightened to eat, I thought food had caused my illness.

'I began eating cheesy pasta or chips and then moved on to lemon curd sandwiches, which I ate every day for four years.

'I plucked up the courage to try pizza when I was 11 and I've eaten it every day since - sometimes I have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

'If I don't have chance to eat pizza before I start college, I go all day without eating, because there's nothing else I can eat, so I wait until I get home and have one or sometimes two pizzas.

'It has to be cheese and tomato and it has to be cooked, I can't eat it cold and I can't have any toppings on it.'

Sophie Ray has not touched a fruit or vegetable in years and says the thought of eating a varied meal terrifies her.

Very occasionally she tries  some pasta and chips or a packet of cheese and onion crisps, but she is now so used to her junk food diet that even this slight variation in her diet makes her feel sick.

She said: 'The thought of trying other foods makes me very anxious, I feel sick and really clam up.

'The taste the texture even the smell of some foods can make me gag.

'A lot of people think I'm just a picky eater but SED is a phobia. Asking me to try new foods is like asking someone who hates spiders to hold one.

'The more ingredients a food has in it the more terrifying I find it, a full English breakfast would be my worst nightmare, I feel really sick just looking at one.

Sophie Ray visited a specialist two years ago who tried to encourage her to try new foods. But she said while this helped reduce some of the anxiety she felt about trying new foods, she is still unable to add variety to her diet.

'My favourite pizza is Pizza Express but I also like Dominos and supermarket pizzas, I eat all brands of pizza as long as it's cheese and tomato.

'I can have a pizza from ASDA and it will taste really cheesy and then have one from Pizza Express which has more flavour from the tomatoes.

'But if a pizza had any other ingredient on it, I wouldn't be able to eat it. I wouldn't even be able to pick it off.

'Selective eating disorder makes me feel quite low, I get depressed at times and going out for meals with family or friends is a nightmare, so I often don't go.

Sophie Ray's all-pizza diet could cause her serious health problems in the long-run, nutritionists say.

Chris Cheyette, senior dietican at Kings College Hospital said: 'She's missing out on a variety of nutrients - one concern is the type of fat she's getting is going to be quite high in saturated fat, as this can make half up of the fat in a pizza.

'Her diet does not contain enough vitamins and could shorten her lifespan, giving her a higher risk of health problems such as a heart disease or a stroke.'

Nutritionist Carina Norris warned that eating only pizza could lead to deficiencies that could hamper the immune system, showing in the hair and skin and causing weight gain.

She said the cheese on a pizza is high in salt and fat quantities, and this diet lacks the compounds we get from fruit and vegetables.

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