I was watching “My Life in Food” on Food Network TV. This episode covered picky eaters. I knew they existed but I didn’t know to what extent. I truly felt for these people because I can’t imagine a life without a variety of food. Turns out there’s a support group for picky eaters. Here’s a snippet from their website:
This is a very tall order. Let me list some of the things that I found that can cause an individual to become an Adult Picky Eater. There are probably many more.
- Swallowing Disorder
- Brain Function Disorder
- Food Aversions
- Taste and Smell Disorder
- Super Tasters
- Sensory Integration Disorder
- Some children use it to control parents
- Tourettes Syndrome
- Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum
Most professionals don’t consider Picky Eating to be a real Eating Disorder. That title is reserved for young people who starve themselves because they never think they are thin enough. Or the other big one is throwing up so you don’t gain weight. I grant you Anorexia and Bulimia are truly an eating disorder. Which leads me to my point about my picky eating.
I think the one common thread that I and those I have met with similar problems is that our brains don’t think of many foods as food. Generally, the more complex the food, the less likely any of us are to eat it. And that’s why it truly should be a recognized eating disorder.
The only meat I eat is Bacon. But it better not be thick and it should be very crisp. In fact, burnt is better than under cooked. If it’s pepper bacon I think of it as ugly looking dirt. Most of the others I have had contact with eat little or no meat. If I try to eat steak it feels like a piece of rubber in my mouth and with each chew I get closer and closer to a gag reflex than can lead to throwing up.
That’s why when some one asks “Here, try this you just might like it,” what they don’t realize is that I fear one taste or one chew is all it will take to make me gag and have a very violent contraction in my abdomen as I throw up my stomach contents all over their carpet. It can really get ugly when it happens.
Professionals need to have some way to identify children who are going to be Picky Eaters into adulthood unless some sort of drastic intervention is taken. I believe the following clues could be very helpful.
If the child is otherwise well adjusted in all other ways and has no other behavior problems. Professionals might want to look for what I think is the biggest clue. Is the child not eating something because it tastes bad, or does he not really see it as food. I think that will probably be the most common thread that most Picky Eating Adults will share that come to this web page.
Picky Eating Adults Support Group