Two years after her daughter’s untimely death, Michelle White is calling upon the health industry to enforce regulations on protein powder and supplements.
Meegan Hefford was 25-years-old when she was found unconscious in her apartment and was pronounced dead three days later in 2017.
Meegan was a bodybuilder studying paramedicine and she had two children, a seven-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son, living in Mandurah, Western Australia.
Prior to her death, Ms Hefford was following a protein-rich diet and was frequenting the gym.
According the her mother, Michelle White, Meegan’s obsession with diet and going to the gym started after she gave birth to her son and suffered “crippling post-natal depression”.
In a new interview with The Mirror, Ms White said she would watch the children while her daughter went to the gym and Meegan would panic if no one could watch the children so she could train.
Meegan would always wash down her protein-packed meal with a protein shake, and because she was eating healthy and Meegan looked healthy, her mother didn’t think she had a reason to worry.
The family was unaware Meegan was suffering from a rare genetic disorder that prevented her body from breaking down protein properly.
Ms White and Meegan’s daughter have since discovered they too suffer from Urea Cycle Disorder, which is manageable with a balanced diet and medication.
While Meegan had the preexisting disorder, Ms White has called for more regulations to be put in place in Australia.
“I want the health industry to enforce regulations on the sale of protein powder and supplements,” Ms White told The Mirror.
“Only certified nutritionists should offer advice on dieting, and I urge people to get medical checks before drastically changing their food intake.”
The official advice from The Australian Medical Association is protein supplement products aren’t necessary for most people and while most aren’t considered dangerous, there’s no real health benefit from using them.
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