A young cook was found dead of malnutrition in his York flat.
Christopher Hughes, 31, was discovered unresponsive at the flat on Hawthorn Grove, Heworth, on 24 January 2023. He was pronounced dead by paramedics at 10.20am.
A police officer who went to the scene found no suspicious circumstances.
An inquest in Northallerton yesterday (Wednesday) was told that Mr Hughes had once been obese, but had shed a huge amount of weight.
Aged 29 and living overseas, he weighed more than 23½ stone before embarking on a strenuous weight loss programme, walking an hour in the morning and using an exercise bike for an hour in the evening.
Mr Hughes also “made substantial changes to his diet”, largely excluding carbohydrates and fats, and then he “started skipping meals”.
When his weight had reached a little over ten stone, he was referred to a gastroenterologist due to vomiting after eating.
In a statement read to the inquest by coroner Jon Heath, his parents said they were concerned when his weight fell to 8.8 stone in early 2021. However, he got a new job and put on weight and by his 30th birthday “he was looking well and was a healthy weight”.
The Liverpool football fan decided to move to England. He found a flat in York, and worked as a cook in a nursing home, as well as working for a short stint in the Prezzo restaurant in York.
“We were extremely proud of him,” his parents said. “He had completed an apprenticeship, got his car licence, worked hard and was a very positive happy individual.”
Shocked at weight loss
His parents only saw his face during video conversations. “We were shocked at his weight when he died,” they said.
“He did a good impression of showing us his cooking creations and the meals he was eating. We both feel he would not have imagined his determined refusal to confront his obsession with weight loss would end his life.
“He had once admitted to loving being thin and thought he was being healthy.”
They added: “Our lives will never be the same again.
“He was and remains our treasured and much loved son.”
Reports by York Hospital pathologist Dr Craig Bratten and toxicologist Nigel Brown found Mr Hughes’ cause of death was malnutrition and ketoacidosis – a condition that can be caused by starvation.
In his narrative conclusion, coroner Mr Heath said: “Prior to his death, he had intentionally lost a significant amount of weight and become malnourished, the consequence of which was ketoacidosis from which he had died.”
He offered his sincere condolences to Mr Hughes’ parents, who had joined the inquest via video link.