Nutrition-wise blog

Selective eating: When picky eating persists

By Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. July 23, 2010

You don't need to be a dietitian to see the struggles people have when it comes to their relationship with food. Painfully for some, their food issues go beyond indulging in the occasional pint of ice cream when sad or going on a crash diet. In some cases, deeper behavioral and psychological problems may be involved.

This appears to be the case with adults who have selective eating disorder, as it's been dubbed. Like kids who are picky eaters, these adults limit their diets to only a handful of foods. Such selective eating may cause nutritional deficiencies as well as psychosocial problems. Eating is so much a part of our culture. People notice if your eating behaviors don't conform to the social norm. What if you couldn't participate in family dinners? Or repeatedly declined invitations to business lunches or dinner meetings?

As more light is shed on selective eating disorder, more treatment options may become available. Affected adults are also coming together online via social networks to help one another cope.

Do you struggle with restrictive or selective eating? How do you cope? What advice do you have for others?

- Katherine

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Jul. 23, 2010