A teenage girl has eaten nothing but cheese and tomato pizza for the last eight years after a childhood stomach bug left her with an extreme fear of food. Sophie Ray (19), hasn't eaten a proper meal since she was a two-year-old and gags if she puts anything other than a plain pizza slice in her mouth.
The teenager, from Wrexham in North Wales, suffers from a condition known as Selective Eating Disorder (SED), leaving her with a phobia or almost all foods and terrified to try anything new. Sophie's bizarre dining habit was sparked when she was struck down with gastroenteritis when she was two, which left her scared to eat. Following her illness, she could only manage cheesy pasta, chips and lemon curd sandwiches before moving onto pizza when she was 11.
Margarita madness: Sophie cannot stomach anything other than cheese and tomato pizza
Since then, Sophie has lived on a diet of pizza, sometimes eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The student said, "I love pizza. 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." She added, "I began eating cheesy pasta or chips and then moved onto lemon curd sandwiches, which I ate every day for four years."
Sophie hasn't touched a fruit or vegetable in years and the thought of eating a varied meal terrifies her.
She said, "The thought of trying other foods makes me very anxious, I feel sick and really clam up." The teen visited a specialist two years ago who tried to encourage her to try new foods. But Sophie 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. "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' go."
"I know my diet isn't doing my health any good and I'd really love to eat normally but it's really hard to change my diet after eating like this for so long." A spokesman from an eating disorder charity said, "When someone focuses on one particular type of food it's generally a sign that there are deep emotional issues at work and they may feel their world is not in control."