Florida Man Eats Only Macaroni and Cheese For 17 Years, Here's Why

A man in Florida has spent the last 17 years of his life chowing down on pretty much nothing but macaroni and cheese. He knows he has an eating disorder, he knows it has horrible health benefits and he acknowledges it has affected his social life.

The man is simply known as Adam in a video by Vice, who first brought the story to light. Adam lives with his grandparents, Richard and Fay, in a small town northeast of Gainesville called Keystone Heights.

Adam said that as a child he was physically abused by his father so bad that he was removed from the home by the Department of Children and Families.

He said he developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the situation, and that he found comfort in soft pasta shells covered with cheese. He tried other foods, and even tried other foods and flavors inside his mac and cheese. He settled for the regular box from the grocery shelves and nothing too fancy.

He knows the ingredients that comprise macaroni and cheese can be harmful to his health.

"Some of the stuff I'm familiar with," he said of its ingredients. "Other stuff sounds like it could be used to make a nuclear weapon."

Adam has gotten so used to eating nothing but mac and cheese that even the mere thought of trying new foods, or even new flavors or twists to his everyday dish, makes his stomach turn.

Though only 20, he has made this his meal for 17 years now. It was not until after he was out of high school when he saw a YouTube video that described his eating disorder known as Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID).

"Oh my God," he recalls thinking when he first saw it. "I'm not crazy. It has a name."

A researcher on the topic said such behavior isn't uncommon for children who stick to certain foods in order to eat foods they don't like, or may think they won't like.

"While picky eating (accepting a food one day but eschewing it the next, or systematically avoiding some non-preferred foods, such as broccoli) is common in youth—particularly in preschoolers—children typically expand their diets as they mature," researchers said in the Orlando Sentinel.

Macaroni and Cheese
The "All-American" macaroni and cheese (made with American and Cheddar cheeses) is served at S'MAC (Sarita's Mac and Cheese), a new macaroni and cheese restaurant on E. 12th in New York. Photo by James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images

His eating disorder has reached into his psyche, saying he does not want to go out with friends solely because of his penchant for only wanting one dish.

"It's definitely a problem," he said. "I'm sick of it, but at the same time I don't want anything else."

Then there are the problems of eating something loaded with carbs so many times a day and not having an outlet. Adam has recently addressed part of that problem as he has taken up boxing, which allows him to work off heavy carbohydrates.

Working out four times a week has allowed Adam to lose weight and "counteract my terrible, awful, carb-filled diet."

Additionally, he has begun seeing a therapist in hopes to expand his pallet. This could lead to a healthier lifestyle and a better social life.

"It's a stepping stone to being able to do the things I want to do, easier," he said.