Cambridge graduate who ate 10k calories in 1 day starts online eating disorders support network


A Cambridge graduate who once ate 10,000 calories in one day has set up an online support network to help other men living with binge eating disorder.

Richie Cartwright, 26, says the mental illness made him go to "extreme lengths", even eating out of bins on the street, to consume high-fat foods like pizza, kebabs and fried chicken.

Five years after graduating from Jesus College with an economics degree Richie felt the full force of the illness Credit: ITV Anglia

I didn't know what I was doing in my life. I thought I was failing, my first company I thought had failed, and I started to use food in a very different way than I had before.

Richie Cartwright

"It happened during the day a lot, and I started to use croissants, and like these really calorie dense foods that I would just stuff in my face," Richie said. "I would honestly just try and get them down as quickly as possible."

Richie first began showing symptoms of binge eating disorder in his late teens. Five years later after graduating from Jesus College with an economics degree the full force of the illness hit him.

There was this one day which was 10,000 calories in one day.

Richie Cartwright

He said: "I would only ever buy one or two croissants at the time, and I would go out and I would hide. I would hide outside the supermarket and I would eat it.

"Then I would go straight back into the supermarket again, but I would only ever go, maybe once back in, and then go to the next supermarket because of the shame and the guilt I never wanted anyone to see me."

Richie with his parents Credit: ITV Anglia

It led Richie to open up to his parents and get help in the form of cognitive behavioural therapy. Now in recovery, he has launched a company called 'Fella' to offer treatment and hope to others.

"We need to update how we are defining masculinity," Richie said. "It's ok to be vulnerable, it's ok to say I have an issue.

"I think what we are doing is really exciting and emotional and important because to be vulnerable is to be masculine."

For more information on Richie’s start-up click here.

If you think you may be suffering from an eating disorder, the following link can provide support and useful advice: Eating disorders helplines.