Man, 21, who ate barely anything other than chicken and chips every day since he was FOUR is finally tucking into fruit and veg after undergoing therapy
- Ryan Howarth has suffered from selective eating disorder since he was four
- But the 21-year-old from Andover in Hants now eats all kinds of tasty foods
- He is more energetic and recently ate out with his father for first time in years
A man who only ate chicken nuggets and chips for nearly 20 years has tucked into fruit and vegetables for the first time.
Ryan Howarth suffers from a rare food disorder which meant his diet was staggeringly limited from the age of four.
But the 21-year-old is now chowing down on all kinds of tasty foods after having therapy for his selective eating disorder.
Ryan Howarth suffers from a rare food disorder which meant his diet was staggeringly limited from the age of four (pictured left as a youngster and right today)
Ryan’s mother Christiane, 45, has been helping him overcome his food fears and try new things
‘I just ate the foods I wanted to,’ said Ryan.
‘When someone asked me to eat something else I reacted in the same way most people would react if I asked them to eat an exotic food, like insects.’
Ryan, from Andover in Hants, said his family were worried his diet could cause him health problems later in life.
But after undergoing some sessions with a therapist, he can eat almost anything.
‘Now I’m eating so many different things,’ he said.
‘It’s amazing how I am enjoying foods I never expected I would like.’
Ryan, from Andover in Hants, with his mother Christiane. She says he is much more outgoing since tackling his eating habits
Ryan tucking into some new foods. He recently went out to eat with his father, which he hasn’t done in years
Ryan enjoying some broccoli, carrots and sweetcorn. He has become much more adventurous with his meals
Pineapple is a favourite of Ryan’s and he recently went out to eat with his father for the first time in years.
He has also seen an improvement in his energy levels since getting on top of his eating habits a month ago.
His mother Christiane, 45, has even seen a personality change in her son.
She says he’s now more outgoing and very helpful around the house.
‘It’s amazing what is happening,’ she said. ‘My son is coming back.’
SELECTIVE EATING DISORDER
SED is also known as picky eating, fussy eating, food phobia, selective eating, or Perseverative Feeding Disorder.
It is more common among those within the autistic spectrum and in combination with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
It starts in childhood or early adolescence and the most common cause of SED is a development of extra sensitive taste sensation, which is caused by an increase in fungiform papilla – taste buds – throughout childhood.
Typically the food preferred by an SED sufferer are ‘comfort foods’ – bland and refined foods, high in carbohydrates – such as pizza, cheese and chips, often from particular brands or food outlets.
The types of food will be restricted to ten or less with extreme cases only eating one or two types of food.
SED sufferers can get psychiatric help such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and other treatments for OCD which have been successful.