A mother says the doctor advised to “starve” her son

A mother says the doctor advised to “starve” her son


Katy Spence is desperate to seek help for her son, Xander, with a condition that severely limits the food he is willing to eat.

Xander and those diagnosed with ARFID are very sensitive to the smell, texture, appearance, taste, and even the temperature of particular foods. This behavior leads them to only have a limited intake.

So far, Xander has a list of only eleven (11) “safe foods” he can eat. Each of these safe foods has a specific brand to follow and to be prepared in a certain way; otherwise, he cannot stomach it.

In hopes of getting her son a referral to the eating disorder team, she booked an appointment with Brannel Surgery at St. Austell. Instead of finding help, she was left outraged as doctors suggested a starvation approach. Doctors recommend starving Xander to the point that he’d be forced to eat the food given to him.

Katy was disturbed by the doctor’s advice, claiming she cannot just “keep quiet and ignore” what had happened to her.

She felt doctors lack knowledge regarding eating disorders. Katy said in an interview that, the doctors are telling her to find the courage and give Xander whatever food they are eating. If he loses weight, then the doctors will do further investigations.

However, Katy is not prepared to do so. She said, she could not just sit and watch Xander starve himself so doctors will examine her further.

Earlier this month, a 17-year-old man named Jake from Bristol, also diagnosed with ARFID, became deaf and blind due to eating only crisps, chips, sausages, and ham for about a decade.

Katy was frightened of the possibility that her son may suffer similar health complications if doctors don’t acquire new knowledge about ARFID.

She had repeatedly raised her concerns to some doctors at Brannel Surgery, but her concerns were always dismissed. Brannel Surgery refused to provide a comment regarding this matter.

Katy is determined to increase awareness of AFRID, so other families won’t have to suffer as much as she did. She is still working hard to find help and cure Xander’s disorder.

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