Can you imagine eating only 10 foods for your entire life? For some, this sounds extreme, but for adult picky eaters, this is a reality of life. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the diet of a picky adult eater can be so limited, that it actually disturbs social and professional relationships, which is a sign of a true disorder.
The article also reveals that a taskforce studying how to categorize eating disorders for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, due out in 2013, is considering recognizing for the first time a disorder to be called “selective eating” that could include adults instead of only children, like it has in the past.
More info on this after the jump.
39 year old Heather Hill, a mother of three, only eats “French fries, pasta with butter or marinara sauce, vegetarian pizza, cooked broccoli, corn on the cob and cakes and cookies without nuts.” That’s it. Picky eaters tend to gravitate towards pale, bland-flavored foods, so French fries and chicken fingers are actually the most popular for adults.
No one knows why exactly this behavior exists, but some believe that texture and flavor of food are key traits that picky eaters focus on. Many will eat foods with only one texture or one flavor, and some researchers believe this indicates a bit of obsessive-compulsiveness.
Some picky eaters describe the sensation of new flavors or textures as inedible, because for some reason, these factors can churn their stomach. One picky eater describes the texture of spaghetti as unpleasant and inedible, and explains that a normal person would never eat a handful of grass, and that is what certain foods, like spaghetti, felt like for the picky eater.
And the life of a picky eater? It’s one full of guilt, shame and hiding, one where adults are constantly avoiding social or professional situations with food in order to avoid having to explain their weird eating preferences. One picky eater in the article said he felt like a social leper from the age of 5 on because of his picky eating preferences, and to this day, he never goes to a person’s house before 7:30pm to avoid being invited to eat.
An online support site called PickyEatingAdults.com have over 1,400 members. Researchers at Duke University and the University of Pittsburgh are creating the first national public registry of picky eating to aid in research of adult picky eaters and hopefully find some solutions.
What do you think? Do you know any adult picky eaters? Does their picky eating get in the way of their life?
Or do you think that classifying adult picky eating as an eating disorder is just fluff n stuff? Let me know!
Happy Friday, no matter what you like to eat!