Evertone knows someone who is just flat out weird about (not) eating certains foods. A lot of children go through phases of refusing to eat certain things and then eating other for every meal, but a significant number of adults have similar issues. NPR ran a story on the topic, and the guests on the show discuss some theories on the behavior ranging from the idea that it is a control issue, that some people have hypersensitive taste-buds, or that it has elements of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
“There is a relationship in our research between picky eating and obsessive-compulsive disorder. So people who are very picky also tend to score high on paper and penic test of OCD.”
The researcher goes on to describe how it is also similar to a phobia since picky eaters can view their behavior as irrational, and some people with more severe forms of picky eating go through treatment (systematic desensitization, a behavioral technique). On the extreme end, this type of behavior can interfere with a person’s social life. It is often overlooked as a problem since eating is such a personal activity, but obviously if it is related to other negative situations (inability to go to parties, eat in front of others, social problems, etc), it seems perfectly reasonable to seek some help.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Sep 2006
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Meek, W. (2006). The Picky Eating Problem. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2006/09/27/the-picky-eating-problem/