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The woman who drank nothing but soda, and 5 other bizarre junk-food stories
The teen who ate nothing but packaged ramen, the man addicted to Big Macs, and more
In case it hasn't been made clear: Drinking only soda is not a healthy choice.
In case it hasn't been made clear: Drinking only soda is not a healthy choice. MICK TSIKAS/Reuters/Corbis

1. The woman who drank only soda for 16 years
As is generally well understood, sugar-rich soda can inflict horrible harm on the human body. After all, a single 12 oz. can of Coca-Cola contains the rough equivalent of two shot glasses full of pure, granulated sugar. Which is why it's mind boggling that a 31-year-old woman from Monaco claims to have consumed only soda for 16 years straight. No water, juice, or tea — just high-fructose corn-syrup fizz. Doctors found this out when she fainted due to dangerously low potassium levels. According to health experts, too much cola can cause excess water to enter the bowels, meaning she was essentially cursed with persistent diarrhea. Her potassium levels — as well as an irregular heartbeat — stabilized a bit after she abstained from soda for a week and was forced to drink only water.

2. The ramen-addicted teen with the health of an 80-year-old
Georgie Redman, an 18-year-old woman hailing from the U.K., is incredibly picky. Like many teens, she has an aversion to fruits and vegetables. So for the past 13 years, Redman has subsisted on a diet solely of instant ramen packets, consuming 30 miles worth of the starchy noodles annually. Doctors suspect Redman possesses a selective eating disorder, since the mere thought of other foods touching her plate makes her "freak out," she says. Because of her aversion, she claims she is unable of dining out with friends. Doctors say Redman has the (poor) health of an 80-year-old woman.

3. The man who ate a Big Mac every day for four decades
A few years ago, McDonald's honored Don Gorske, a 57-year-old former prison guard from Wisconsin, for consuming his 25,000th Big Mac. He says he still remembers tasting his first double-patty triple-stack slathered in special sauce: On May 17, 1972, when he consumed nine of them for lunch and dinner. That first month, he averaged about 8.5 Big Macs a day. Thirty years later, in 2003, he averaged a little over two. "I plan on eating Big Macs until I die," Gorske says. "I have no intentions of changing. It's still my favorite food. Nothing has changed in 39 years. I look forward to it every day." Inexplicably, Gorske is a trim man, which he attributes to walking regularly. His doctors have even given him a clean bill of health, reports The Associated Press.

4. The woman who only ate pizza
Pizza is great. Everyone loves pizza. Especially 33-year-old Claire Simmons from Notting Hill in London. Simmons has spent the past 31 years of her life consuming nothing but plain cheese pizzas. Although she exercises and "drinks plenty of water," she may also be suffering from a selective eating disorder, reports The Huffington Post. Because cheese pizza doesn't provide the vitamins and minerals the body needs, doctors caution that her monotonous diet could one day kill her.

5. The soda drinker who lost all his teeth at 25
Having dentures when you're happily retired is one thing. But when you're 25? That's a different story. William Kennewell of Australia says he drinks between six to eight liters of soda — mostly cola — every day. The high sugar content has left his teeth rotten, and now he wears a full set of dentures. "It started because I wasn't a huge water fan, and working in the hotel industry, I had easy access to Coke," he tells the Daily Mail. "Because my teeth were decaying so badly, it caused blood poisoning which just made me sick — but my health improved with the dentures."

6. The nutritionist who lost 27 pounds eating Twinkies and Doritos
Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, embarked on what has to be the weirdest diet we've ever heard of. Instead of regular meals, every three hours he would eat Doritos, Oreos, Twinkies, powered donuts, or other junk foods you'd find at a convenience store. Over the course of 10 weeks, he shed 27 pounds. The caveat was that he restricted himself to 1,800 calories a day; previously, he says he was consuming 2,600 calories a day. The weirdest part, though, was that his other health indicators were all okay. According to CNN, his "bad" cholesterol, or LDL, dropped about 20 percent. His "good" cholesterol, or HDL, increased by 20 percent. His triglycerides, which are a form of fat, fell by 39 percent as well. "That's where the head scratching comes," Haub says. "What does that mean? Does that mean I'm healthier? Or does it mean how we define health from a biology standpoint, that we're missing something?" Obviously, don't try this at home.

Chris Gayomali is the science and technology editor for TheWeek.com. Sometimes he writes about other stuff. His work has also appeared in TIME, Men's JournalEsquire, and The Atlantic.

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