Thursday, July 15, 2010

Picky eating = new eating disorder?

An interesting story popped up on my RSS feed the other day, and although I fought the inclination to post about it right away, I can’t fight this feeling anymore (oh yes, I just said that).

The story was about how the University of Pittsburgh and Duke University launched the first national registry of picky eating in adults – and some researchers are thinking about considering it an officially recognized eating disorder.

Yes, you read that correctly, picky eating may become an OFFICIAL eating disorder in the same vein as anorexia and bulimia.

The premise of the argument stems from the idea that these picky peoples’ eating habits prevent them from getting all the necessary nutrients one needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and thus are at a disadvantage. Ok, fair enough. But do we really need an officially classified disorder to give people yet another excuse to engage in unhealthy behavior?

If you hate the taste of carrots and broccoli, that’s your preference and you’ll probably develop some vitamin deficiency. If you avoid a party with friends because you know the host makes weird, outlandish food when she entertains, that’s your prerogative and you’ll maybe lose a friend or have someone think you’re strange. Why must it be a disorder all of the sudden?

I can’t stomach asparagus or uncooked tomatoes – maybe I need to see a psychiatrist. My wife hates all seafood for the most part – maybe she needs to take a pill. Is that a stretch in the not so distant future?

My beef (hehe) is this: at some point someone needs to draw the line between disorders/addictions and weaknesses/shortcomings.

I am nothing special – let me say that first. I do not consider myself to be any healthier, smarter or more socially adept than anyone else. However, the following statements are true…

I understand that eating nothing but red meat and fried food can be detrimental to my physical health. I CHOOSE to try to avoid fast food and eat healthy. I understand that gambling can get me in trouble financially and possibly legally. I CHOOSE to not gamble very often. I understand that cheating on my wife has many ramifications. I CHOOSE to be faithful.

But the guy next door can say his heart attack and extreme obesity was caused by his picky eating disorder, his house was foreclosed because of his gambling compulsion and his wife left him over his sex addiction that made him cheat on her with multiple women.

NO – you made poor decisions and succumbed to weaknesses that millions of people fight everyday.

I don’t know how anyone else feels about this, but I say we chill out with making everything official. Maybe some people just make “officially” poor decisions sometimes. Maybe some of us are “officially” bad people.

All right, enough ranting and raving for one day. Give me your thoughts, if you have some – and I know you do, you wonderfully intelligent, opinionated readers you. ;)

See you on Monday, when we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled, twice a day programming. Please try to contain your excitement. Xoxoxoxo


  1. I agree. We are all about labels and EVERYTHING has to be classified. Can't we just be?

  2. Right? Why is it that every weakness we have needs to be classified? Can't I just be a raw onion hater?