According to the Daily Mail, 17-year-old factory worker Stacey Irvine of Castle Vale, Birmingham, has consumed no food items other than McNuggets since the time she could chew food (age 2). (Well, apparently Irvine also eats French fries, and has tried toast and potato chips once or twice.) She says she has never tasted fresh fruit or vegetables.
"My main meal is always chicken nuggets every day," she told the Mail. "McDonald's chicken nuggets are my favorite. ... But I also like KFC and supermarket brands."
After being hospitalized last week after struggling to breathe and collapsing at work, "she has been warned by doctors to change her appalling diet or die," the Mail reports.
Now recovering at home on a high-dose course of vitamins, Irvine says she'll never give up the McNugs.
"She's been told in no uncertain terms that she will die if she carries on like this," her exasperated mother, Evonne, chimed in. "But Stacey says she can't eat anything else. It breaks my heart to see her eating those damned nuggets."
Nutritionist Dr Carina Norris told the Mail that she believes Irvine's diet will have serious long-term health implications, as her body lacks iron, calcium, antioxidants, vitamins and healthy fats. Irvine's McNuggets diet is high in saturated fat and sodium.
A 20-piece portion of McNuggets -- Irvine's preference -- contains 58 grams of fat and 926 calories. It also packs 1,800 milligrams of sodium, more than the U.S. daily recommended allowance of 1,500 milligrams. Such a diet can raise blood pressure, weaken the immune system and lead to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, particularly with age. An emerging body of research has also linked excessive sodium intake to cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, dementia, sleep apnea and kidney disease, according to MSNBC.
MSNBC also states, "Research shows that salt actually triggers the release of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine, which makes salty foods as addictive as nicotine and alcohol. And just like with any addiction, eating salty foods makes your body crave more. In other words, the more Chicken McNuggets you have, the more you crave them."
Well. That explains why this British girl is such a barmy lass, as well as the local young lady who allegedly attempted to prostitute herself for McNuggets. Maybe McDonald's should rename them Chicken McCrack.
Follow Samantha Bonar @samanthabonar.