Woman Survives on Corn Crisps Alone for Over a Decade

35-year-old Debbie Taylor loves cooking big meals for her boyfriend and teenage son. But when the time comes to sit down at the table and dig in, she just pulls out a packet of Beef-flavored Monster Munch crisps instead. In fact, that’s about all she’s been eating for the past decade!

Debbie, a hotel chambermaid in Harlow, Essex, is so paranoid about food that she actually takes a packet of crisps when she goes out to restaurants, and munches on them while her boyfriend Gerald indulges in a traditional meal. She takes them everywhere. For example, when the boyfriend took her and her son Luke for a holiday in Spain, she actually packed a separate suitcase full of Monster Munch for the trip!

“I’m not a fan of the cooked meal,” she wrote in a life and style experience article in The Guardian a few years ago. “I’m much happier with Monster Munch crisps – beef flavor; I wouldn’t touch pickled onion. When I open the bag, I check if they have enough beef coating on them; if it’s not enough, I’ll throw them away.”


Photo: BBC One video caption

“Sometimes there’s a nugget of pure beef flavoring at the bottom, which is delicious,” she added. “You could say I’m a connoisseur. I’ve been eating two family-size bags a day for two years, and little else for the past decade. My shopping trolley looks as if I’m having a children’s party.”

“I have a tea for breakfast, skip lunch and then I’m ready for my first large bag of crisps at around 4pm and my second bag at 8pm. During the day I’ll have a few cups of tea and sometimes a cola. I don’t get ravenous because my body is used to it after all these years. The idea of eating anything else is repellent; I don’t like being full and bloated, which is how “proper food” makes me feel.”

While friends and family have tried to persuade her to eat a healthy, balanced meal, Debbie insists that she simply cannot eat anything else. Any form of cooked meals – eating out, Christmas dinners, barbecues, and even eating the food she cooked herself are off-limits.

“Gerald and my family have tried everything to get me to eat other food but I’m so used to crisps now there is no way I could tuck into a pizza or fish and chips,” she explained. And even though she knows that her diet isn’t a healthy one, and would like to eat normally in the future, she simply has no idea how to change.


Photo: The Guardian

In fact, Debbie has been suffering from eating disorders all her life. “I’ve always been a fussy eater,” she wrote. “I can remember my mum trying everything to get me to eat healthily, cooking spaghetti bolognese and chopping up veg, which I refused to eat. She finally said, ‘If you don’t eat that, there’s nothing else.’ ‘Fine,’ I replied. ‘I don’t want anything.’”

So Debbie turned to junk food, which she was always happy to be eating. And at age 11, she became chubby, which brought an onslaught of teasing and bullying at school. “This time of my life became very dark,” she recalled. “My confidence was low and I became anorexic, bulimic and addicted to exercising.”

After college, Debbie got a job at the local pool, and saw the female lifeguards snack on peanuts during their breaks. She liked the idea instantly, so for a while she took to eating nothing but peanuts and bread sprinkled with salt. Interestingly, the only time of her life that she happened to eat well was when she was pregnant with Luke – she craved a variety of foods and ate properly. But after the birth, she drifted back to her old eating habits with ease.


Photo: Caters News

Ever since she met Gerald, Debbie says that he has tried everything to convince her to eat a varied diet. “He cooked me a shepherd’s pie, and wrote my initial in the mash,” she said. “I was touched, but it didn’t make me eat it. I ended up telling him all about my teenage eating problems and it helped him understand.”

Although he’s used to having bags of crisps all over the house now, Gerald still has his concerns. “It used to scare the living daylights out of me when we first got together,” he said. “I worry about the damage to her bones, she’s not getting any kind of vitamins, protein or calcium.” Debbie doesn’t take any vitamin supplements, and she hasn’t eaten anything green since she was a child.

“Day to day, I’m fine,” she insists. “I don’t get ill more often than anyone else, although my nails are weak and my gums bleed when I brush my teeth. The doctor has said I am anaemic but hasn’t forced me to change my diet. I’m not underweight – I’m a size 12-14; family-size bags of crisps are pretty high in calories.”

Debbie also says that her bizarre eating habits haven’t affected Luke, who appears to eat normally. “Thankfully, he’s got a healthy appetite,” she said. “I’m a good cook and really enjoy preparing meals, I just can’t stand the thought of eating them myself and the smell makes me feel sick.”


“When I’m hungry I eat a packet of crisps,” she said. “I don’t try to diet, Monster Munch is just what I feel like eating. But I do realise it’s just another eating disorder. It’s probably a branch of my anorexia and bulimia in my teens. It works for me at the moment and I’ll just keep plodding along until I decide maybe it’s time for a change. I’m not embarrassed about it, but I do wonder why people think my crisp diet is so special.”

Sources: The Guardian, Mirror.co.uk

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