Sophie Ray, 19, has eaten nothing but pizza for the past eight years because she has Selective Eating Disorder. She’s from Wrexham, Wales, and has not eaten a proper meal since she was two, and from the age of 11 Sophie Ray has subsisted solely on cheese and tomato dough food, but now there are health concerns. 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. She literally lives on a Pizza diet. Her problem began when she was struck down by a stomach bug, Gastroenteritis, at two years old. “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 said.
Ray has not touched a fruit or vegetable in years and says the thought of eating a varied meal terrifies her.
Very occasionally she will try 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.
“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,” she said.
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 favorite 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,” Ray said.
Ray also says that the Selective Eating Disorder makes her feel quite low, and she gets depressed at times and going out for meals with family or friends can be a nightmare, so she doesn’t often go.