A student who became obsessed with a “healthy” diet that cut out protein and carbohydrates killed himself after his health dramatically declined.
Will Mathews, 22, had been formerly a pescatarian but became “fixated” with vegetable and fruit only recipes he downloaded from an American website.
The food technology student, from Stockport, began taking health supplements to compensate but he became convinced he had issues with his bones and started to lose his hair.
His mental state then began to deteriorate amid fears he was struggling with his university degree.
His mother Sylvia Duncan, a nurse, told his inquest she tried to tell him he was losing his dreadlocks because of his diet, but he was adamant the diet he was following was correct.
She said: “He once told me ‘I want to make sure everybody’s healthy and I want to open my own enterprise, I want everybody to know about healthy eating’. He was never a fussy eater, he ate everything and enjoyed cooking.
“He started the pescatarian diet where he cut out just meat, then he started to cut out certain types of food including carbohydrates and protein. He kept saying: ‘I don’t need protein, I have been told I don’t need it'”.
“I noticed he was losing weight, he was having to eat more frequently as he wasn’t taking in anything of substance. He was coming up with arguments from people he met online and he was eating just greens and fruit which he mashed up.
“As I am a nurse I understand nutrition but he was telling me people who had written books which he purchased told him to get better you had to deteriorate a little bit first.”
Will stepped into the path of the Birmingham to Manchester train as it was travelling through Levenshulme. He suffered multiple injuries and died at the scene. He started his diet in December 2016.
Leanne Callan of British Transport Police, told the inquest in Manchester: “Officers attended the ward at Stepping Hill and recovered a laptop and sent it to the high tech crime unit in London. I am aware the family did have concerns regarding access to websites and the dark web and things like that.
“The interrogation unit were asked to check if William had been accessing any dark web material but there was no such usage of the dark web.”
The hearing continues.