01/26/2012 03:52 EST | Updated 03/27/2012 05:12 EDT

Stacey Irvine Chicken Nugget Diet: Teen Eats Nuggets For 15 Years; Rushed To Hospital


It's the meal plan nobody should take on.

A teenage girl in Birmingham, U.K., who has eaten nothing but chicken nuggets for 15 years, is being warned her favourite food is killing her, according to the Daily Mail.

Stacey Irvine, 17, told the newspaper she was hooked on nuggets when her mom brought them home from McDonald's when she was two. Since then, Irvine has never eats fruit or vegetables, and loves to split 20 nuggets with her boyfriend as a pastime.

But it's not all fun in McDonald's Playland. Irvine has breathing problems, anaemia and was recently rushed to the hospital after she collapsed with swollen veins in her tongue. Despite all this, she can't resist temptation.

"I am starting to realise this is really bad for me," she told The Sun.

Single-item food diets like this one can occur when people are addicted to their food habits, want to lose weight, or even test out a theory. As an experiment in 2010, Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, ate nothing but Twinkies for 10 week and lost 27 pounds and almost five points from his body mass index (BMI).

"What I did, it wasn't healthy behaviour and it did lead to health after [with weight and BMI loss]," he told the Huffington Post Canada. "That's the other layer that is complex. There's a difference between healthy eating and healthy outcomes."

Story Continues Below: Here are some other single-item diets people have tried:

Photo gallery Single-Item Diets See Gallery

Haub also points out that calling out the fast food industry on this isn't always the answer. "The concern is not about what she's eating, it's about what she's not. It's not about saying chicken nuggets are bad -- I think you'd see the same result if she just ate one or a couple types of fruit, or veggies or whole grains. It comes back to trying to teach people to meet needs from a food perspective, versus 'don't eat that, because it's not healthy.'"

Hana Klimczak, a registered dietitian at Nutrition Check in Toronto says, ditching food groups to switch to a single-food diet is the worst option for your body's health.

"I don't believe in labelling foods as 'good' or 'bad,'" Klimczak says. "Balance and moderation is the key to a healthy lifestyle; and all foods fit in moderation." Different foods provide different minerals, she notes, saying that Irvine's nugget-only diet is not benefiting her growing body.

And saying no to that greasy slice of pizza from time to time will help you in the long run.

"Foods deemed as 'junk' will have a lot of added salt, sugar and fat, as well as simple or processed carbohydrates," she says. "The foundation of a healthy lifestyle should include fruits and vegetables, grains, lean proteins, dairy products and small amounts of healthy fats."