The Reality of Adult Picky Eaters
Freaky Eaters is a new TLC show shedding light on eating issues facing many adults. According to this Los Angeles Times show description, many times there are psychological components to freaky eating issues. While the show is focusing on people that avoid specific foods or only eat certain foods or food groups, picky eating for adults can be much more perplexing.
When people have an allergic response or intolerance to food, they are encouraged to avoid those that cause the problems. That same response may happen naturally when people grow up with aversions to specific textures, aromas, or flavors. Members of the Picky Eating Adult Support web community found hundreds of other people dealing with similar issues. A wide range of adults with food issues that increase stress in social situations. For most, the food limitations or aversions started in childhood. Maybe they had sensory issues related to food textures instead of being bothered by the tag in the back of their shirt. Just as adaptations are initiated when the tag bothers a child, food adaptations begin and continue as they grow up. These adaptations or limitations are seen as normal food preferences by the individual and not as an issue even though many times they are frustrating for family and friends. Over time, they become willing to avoid eating rather than being forced to try an offensive food. Some may also experience a sensitive gag reflex that easily kicks in at the insistence of trying or even smelling an averted food. It becomes easier and preferable to avoid the food than face the negative responses.
A new registry known as The Food FAD (Finicky Eating in Adults) Study was started by Duke University and the University of Pittsburgh. Nearly two thousand people have registered and many hope it will bring study interest in the condition. An updated diagnoses has been proposed for the 2013 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders for a psychological condition in children and adults known as Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder.
Some people just need ideas and support to learn to love vegetables. For other people, picky eating becomes a bigger problem that shapes food preferences and patterns. Most of us are willing to try new recipes or foods when provided ideas, support and encouragement to expand our eating repertoire. If you believe you or someone you know fits in the "freaky eater" category, perhaps there is a medical or psychological reason that needs to be investigated by a medical provider.
What foods do you avoid? Why? How long has it been since you have given them another try?
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