London: Her`s is a case which has
fascinated doctors all over the world. Meet: Lizzie Velasquez,
the 21-year-old woman from Austin in the US who eats every 15
minutes to stay alive.
Velasquez, who is now part of a genetic study run by
an Indian-origin researcher, Prof Abhimanyu Garg of University
of Texas, has a rare condition which prevents her from gaining
weight even though she eats up to 60 small meals a day, `The
Daily Telegraph` reported.
Despite consuming between 5,000 and 8,000 calories
daily, the 5 feet 2 inches communications student, who wears
size triple zero clothes, weighs just over four stone and has
almost zero per cent body fat.
"I weigh myself regularly and if I gain even one pound
I get really excited. I eat every 15 to 20 minutes to keep my
energy levels up.
"I eat small portions of crisps, sweets, chocolate,
pizza, chicken, cake, doughnuts, ice cream, noodles and pop
tarts all day long, so I get pretty upset when people accuse
me of being anorexic," Velasquez said.
Prof Garg believes Lizzie may have a form of Neonatal
Progeroid Syndrome which causes accelerated ageing, fat loss
from face and body, and tissue degeneration. People with PRS
have triangular and prematurely aged faces with a pointy nose.
He said: "I am aware of a small number of people that
have similar conditions to Lizzie but each case is slightly
different. We cannot predict what will happen to Lizzie in the
future as the medical community are yet to document older
people with NPS.
"However Lizzie is lucky to have healthy teeth, organs
and bones so the outlook is good. We`ll continue to study her
case and learn from her."