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Meet the British girl who snacks on bathing sponge

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Nov 30, 2014, 9:16 pm IST
Updated Mar 30, 2019, 10:20 am IST
At 13, doctors had to remove a large ball of sponge that was stuck in her stomach
Rosie Skinner posing with the sponge. (Picture Courtesy: Daily Mail)
 Rosie Skinner posing with the sponge. (Picture Courtesy: Daily Mail)
 
While most of us crave for chocolate, chicken wings or pickles. Rosie Skinner, craves sponges — at least two a week. The 19-year-old girl from Surrey, UK, recently made headlines on the Internet with her penchant for eating bath sponges. Rosie is believed to suffer from pica - an eating disorder in which people eat non-food materials. The Daily Mail reported that Rosie has been eating bath sponges since she was five-years-old.
 
She reportedly snacks on small pieces of sponge throughout the day and eats up to two sponges every week. Skinner is quoted saying, "I crave that damp taste and feeling in my mouth. If I have a stressful day, I love to treat myself to snack on a sponge to relax." After eight years of sponge-eating, the teenager has developed severe stomachaches and had to have a large mass of sponge removed from her stomach when she was 13 years old, according to The Mirror.
 
She was advised by her doctors to stop snacking on sponges but said that she could not resist the compulsion to eat them. Although Rosie said that she has accepted pica as part of who she is, she wishes to quit her strange eating habit. She went on to add "Now I just chew it (the sponge) for a while and spit it out." Long term ingestion of non-food objects may cause serious complications, such as a mass trapped in the stomach, intestinal blockage, infection and malnutrition.
 
In September this year, an 18-year-old girl from Kyrgyzstan was saved after she underwent an emergency operation to remove a 4kg hairball from her stomach. She also suffered from pica and had been eating her hair for years.
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