Celebrities usually know what they have signed up for when it comes to I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
They know they will be living off rice and beans, and maybe some form of meat and veg – but only if they win challenges.
But even if they manage to win, these meats are often hard to stomach – this year they have had squirrel, eels and pigeon.
And many might not realise just how little rice and beans the celebrities are given.
According to The Sun, this year the celebs are given a measly 700 calories worth of rice and beans.
This, Dr Alka Patel told Daily Star, is more restrictive than the Minnesota Starvation Experiment of 1948.
Dr Patel, Lifestyle Medicine Physician, GP and the Creator of The Lifestyle First Method, deems the I’m A Celebrity diet “nutritionally incomplete”.
The “starvation diet” lacks many of the vitamins and minerals “we need on a daily basis to support our basic biology”, such as “vitamin C, the B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, iron, calcium, selenium to name just a few”.
Dr Patel told us: “We’re seeing the physical effects of starvation in the contestants. Weight loss is visible.”
The GP also notes the emotional impact of the “starvation diet”.
She has observed “mood changes, irritability and obsessional thinking, and notes that “food has becomes the obsession and focal point of the day, exactly as in the Minessota experiment”
Dr Patel continued: “And starvation we know impairs concentration, comprehension and problem solving – the exact skills we’re asking the contestants to display during trials.
“Yes, this is a competition. Yes, it’s meant to be challenging, but no, it shouldn’t cause impairment.”
Dr Patel also says the celebrities are “starving their gut bugs”, which “provide us with an array of functions that support our immunity, prevent inflammation and boost our mood”.
In addition to all this, there is the “impact of stress and sleep deprivation.
Dr Patel explained: “When the body is in sympathetic overdrive with high circulating levels of adrenaline and cortisol, with little rest and recharge, the acute effect has chronic impact.
“We know that stress is connected to cancer, heart disease, Alzheimers, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, the list goes on.”
Dr Patel added: “It makes compelling viewing but what we are watching tonight is the next episode of an on screen experiment on starvation and stress.”
ITV declined to comment when contacted by Daily Star Online.