Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Grown-ups can also be picky eaters

I once knew a kid who would not eat mushrooms because of the word "mush" in there. My own daughter won't touch a pea, and since an unfortunate food poisoning incident as a toddler, won't eat rice.

Do most people outgrow these little quirks?

Well, says Nancy Zucker, a psychologist and director of the Duke Center for Eating Disorders--as quoted in a piece in the NYT--many adult food dislikes (veggies #1) start in childhood.

How many is many? No stats--adults tend to keep these things on the down low.

One said--there is not a lot of empathy for picky eaters.

Researchers at Duke and the University of Pittsburgh did an online questionnaire of 40,000 adults.

Still, the causes of adult picky eating are not well understood:

--A childhood scare with choking or vomiting

--A lingering fear of certain foods

--A different way of tasting--foods contain hundreds of compounds that determine taste and smell--individuals may perceive these differently.

--Texture--okra, canned spinach--can also play a role. Someone else did not like to cut into tomatoes and "watch the guts spill out."

You can learn to like something or a way of preparing something, of course, My kid would not eat a pea, but she would eat artichoke leaves in sauce when a year old.

Some people come to Duke to relearn eating of certain foods.

Oh--and if you know a picky eater...don't force them to eat one bite.

They don't want to--and you can't make them.

No comments: