Influencer who ate takeaway every day for 2 weeks left with ‘bursting gut’

A social media influencer ate two takeaways every day for a fortnight expected it to be “a breeze” – but was left with a “bursting gut”.

Marc Cox, a student at Edge Hill University student in Lancashire, was invited to take part in the experiment by BBC One.

Creators of the documentary wanted to investigate the effects of takeaways on young adults.

Marc told the Liverpool Echo: "The study originally had only been done on older adults so they wanted to do it on people aged 18 to 25 to see what takeaways are doing to our bodies and minds over a short period of time.

"First we had to undergo a series of tests – we had to have a blood sugar test, our body fat percentage, gut bacteria, a mental well-being test and a cognitive sharpness test as well."

Once Marc, who lives in Crosby, and the other young people due to take part in the experiment had had their health tests, the experiment could begin.

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Participants had to eat a takeaway for their lunch and evening meal every day for two weeks.

Criminal psychology student Marc said: "It was good at first – it was all right for the first couple of days because we didn't have to cook or anything but then come the fifth day, I was really tired and lethargic.

"It was lunch and dinner every day for two weeks which was horrendous.

"It sounds like it's going to be good but it's really not.

"We had to eat a doner kebab and it was the most disgusting thing ever, to me that's something you get when you're drunk on a night out so eating it for dinner, and one of the days we had to have it for lunch too, was awful.

"I think I even went sick after it. By the tenth day, I didn't even want to get out of bed because I just felt so heavy and full.

"I had a complete lack of motivation to do anything."

Marc felt the effects of the takeaway quickly and struggled to get complete day to day tasks.

He said: "I managed to still go to uni but I found myself falling asleep in lectures or not listening properly.

"Even after the two week period was up, I still felt like that.

"You'd think it was going to be amazing but it was not the best thing to do. I nearly dropped out [of the experiment] because I just feel like my gut was bursting."

Marc's skin also suffered the effects of the constant takeaways, leading him to suffer from breakouts.

The student said: "I broke out in so many spots and I didn't like looking in the mirror – I felt disgusting.

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"Compared to what my skin was like beforehand, it just wasn't me – I had oily pores, redness and bits of acne.

"I was trying to get facials afterwards because my skin was so bad, it took a few weeks to calm down.

"I thought it was the worst thing in the world at the time.

"I can laugh about it now but at the time, it was awful."

Marc describes the experiment as "crazy" and was surprised by the results he experienced.

He said: "I was surprised, I know people that eat takeaways a couple of times a week so I thought it was going to be a breeze but it really wasn't. It was crazy."

At the end of the experiment, the participants had to again take the tests they'd had before the experiment began.

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Marc's blood sugar levels were significantly higher than before he began eating takeaways every day, but said the mental effects hit closer to home.

The experiment was filmed as part of the BBC's The Truth About science documentary series, presented by journalist Nikki Fox.

She will be supported by scientists from Liverpool John Moores University and aims to uncover the effect takeaways can have on our health.

Asked whether the experiment had put him off takeaways for life, Marc said: "It did put me off takeaways for a while, but I'm back on them now. I don't eat them often.

"I just wanted to put it out there and I want young people to see the effects that takeaways can have on you.

"People will see the effects in the long term are not good."

The Truth About Takeaways will air on Thursday, February 27 at 8pm on BBC One.

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