Last week, researchers at The University of Pittsburgh and Duke University launched the first national registry of picky eating in adults.
We all know a picky eater - someone who just won’t eat broccoli or strawberries. And there are all types of selective eating for health or cultural or religious reasons.
But researchers say there is a psychological difference between selective eating and picky eating. Marsha Marcus runs the Center for Overcoming Problem Eating at Western Psych. With colleagues at Duke, she has develop an Internet registry that they hope will help researchers better understand the causes and effects of picky eating.
"It's only for a very few people where these problems become sufficiently extreme where they can interfere with a persons well being, their social life, jobs, interpersonal relationships," she said.
Marcus is part of a group that’s reviewing diagnostic criteria for the upcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the unofficial bible of psychiatry. Picky eating, now a childhood disorder will include adults and be renamed Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. The new DSM is scheduled for a 2013 release.
The registry is called the Finicky Eating in Adults or FAD and so far, more than 1,500 people have signed up. Marcus does not expect that they are all diagnosable picky eaters- but she says the information will help them determine between normal weird eating and picky eating.