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Chicken Nugget "Addict" in Peril

A 17-year-old girl who's eaten chicken nuggets almost exclusively since the age of two is rushed to hospital.

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Stacey Irvine is hooked on nuggets.
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By Luke Walker

01/30/12

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A 17-year-old girl whose diet has apparently consisted of nothing but chicken nuggets—and the occasional portion of fries or slice of toast—since the age of two has collapsed and been rushed to hospital. Stacey Irvine was a picky eater as an infant. Then when she was two, her mother took her to a McDonald’s near their home in Birmingham, England, and Stacey tasted her very first chicken McNugget. “I loved them so much they were all I would eat,” she says. “I just couldn’t face even trying other foods. Mum gave up giving me anything else years ago.” Because of her "addiction," she never even tastes fruit or vegetables. The factory worker collapsed at her job last week, suffering from anemia, inflamed veins and breathing difficulties. She was so deficient in essential vitamins and minerals that she was rushed to hospital to have them administered intravenously. Although her condition has improved, doctors say she's far from safe. A fried chicken nugget contains little nutritional value, but lots of fat, sodium and "empty" calories. A 20-piece portion holds 58 grams of fat and 926 calories—that's nearly half the total daily allowance of calories, and more than the daily allowance of fat. Nutritionist Dr. Carina Norris describes Stacey’s case as the most extreme food addiction she's seen in ten years in the field: “She should view her health scare as a warning—a wake-up call that she needs to drastically change her diet.”

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