Adult Picky Eaters UK

For Picky-Eating Adults in the UK and worldwide

Today’s Fussy Eating Article In The Times February 17, 2007

Filed under: adult picky eating — Claire @ 2:25 pm

I read Lucy McDonald’s article on picky eating in today’s Times with great interest, having spoken to Lucy myself when she was researching the article.

While I’m glad that the topic is getting broader coverage, I find I am ever so slightly disappointed with the article for a couple of reasons.

I don’t really mind if the whole country now thinks I subsist on “meat and potatoes” and nothing else, even though that isn’t true, as anyone who reads this blog will know. 

But I was a bit bothered by the view of Dr Nadia Micali, from the Institute of Psychiatry.  Apparently she reckons that the reason why the medical profession don’t know how many picky eaters there are is “because rarely is it so bad that sufferers see a doctor”.  I’m afraid I have to take issue with this, I simply don’t think that it is true.  On the one occasion I told my doctor about it, in my twenties, the response was to the effect of “What do you expect me to do about it? Get over it”.  I don’t believe I am the only picky eater to have found the medical profession less than helpful either.

If picky eating really is as damaging to our health as the British Dietetic Association would have us believe, then why has the medical profession been so unconcerned for the last thirty years?  Do you see what I’m saying?  It kind of doesn’t make sense.

Anyway, if you’ve read the article, I’d be interested in what you thought of it.


5 Responses to “Today’s Fussy Eating Article In The Times”

  1. Elissa Says:

    Hi Claire,

    I’ve read the article too and yes I was very disapointed about Dr Nadia Micali’s view that people are not seeing doctors.

    I went to my G.P. and was referred to a psychologist who said I had obsessive compulsive disorder. But did absolutley nothing to help me.

    Professionals just don’t know how to deal with the problem. There is not enough wide spead information on dealing with it. Professionals like to give their views but I feel that none of it seems to be research based.

    The Rogers Memorial Hospital in Milwaukee seem to be doing research into the problem. I’ve had a look at their web page but can’t find anything definate. Though thinking of emailing them to see if they want anymore participants.


  2. Kathryn Wilson Says:

    I read the article in todays Times about Claire Simmons and was particularly interested because i too have not eaten fruit or vegetables for my whole life. I also have a younger sister who also does not eat fruit or vegetables however my brother does. We were diagnosed with a condition called Hereditary Fructose Intolerance when I was about 11 (I am now 24) after my mum read an article in a magazine about a man who had the condition and wrote to the journalist. My mum and dad are both carriers but had no symptoms at all. Although there has been no change to what I eat it is much better to have a named condition rather than be seen as a fussy eater.

  3. Claire Says:

    Professionals like to give their views but I feel that none of it seems to be research based.

    I agree, Elissa. It seems like lots of people are very happy to make pronouncements without actually knowing what they’re talking about. I haven’t got OCD, in fact I don’t think I’ve got anything else diagnosable. Just picky eating.

    Thanks Kathryn for posting, and for that very useful information regarding fructose intolerance. I hadn’t heard of that before.

    For myself, I don’t believe it explains my pickiness though – I have no adverse reaction to fruit juices and so forth, and also, my pickiness is not solely limited to fruit and veg. Also, I gather people with food intolerances generally tend to enjoy the foods in question perfectly well while eating them, it is rather that they suffer adverse physical reaction post hoc. I never heard of a food intolerance that caused a priori avoidance of particular foodstuffs. Tell me if I’ve got this wrong.

  4. Mel Says:

    Hi Claire, its been a while since I checked the sight. Nice work!

    I was quite disappointed with the article too. They made it seem like “it wasn’t bad enough to seek treatment.” I think most of us would give our right arms for a cure and almost all of us has talked to our GPs. I’ve talked to my doctor and received the same reaction as many. “Just deal with it.”

    It really didn’t truly capture the hardship we go through. And those tips at the end weren’t helpful in the slightest to a true pickyeater as opposed to someone who just really dislikes something.

    Her own comments about how she is fussy really had nothing to do with PE’s and I think really destroyed the article as you can’t compare her dislikes to us who CAN’T eat things.

    What a downer…

  5. Jessica Says:


    Although I have not read the article – in fact i’ve only just found this page – I totally understand what you mean regarding the medical profession. Since, well, forever, i have only been living off potatoes and bread, and worried about that fact, i went to visit the doctors. straight away i got a response saying “no one has ever come to me about this before, are you sure you’re not just being silly and childish about it?” Then they sent me to a nutritionist, and quite frankly, even a more specialised profession didnt have a clue! in my first visit, she didnt let me explain WHY i couldn’t eat other foods and how it made me feel….. in fact, she never even let me get a word in. in the end she sent me packing telling me to just go out and shop for all the foods i couldn’t eat.

    to be honest though, i think the medical profession can be extremely unhelpful in all scenarios. they didnt help with my depression, they sent me home without any help when i broke my ankle (nothing for support whatsoever), they didnt diagnose my sister’s autism until she was 15, and they were not very helpful when my mom had cancer (she was in and out with so many infections). I even witnessed a nurse giving someone a STREPSIL for a broken arm!!!! Ok, so not ALL of the people working within the profession are unhelpful, there are some that genuinely want to help people, or so i believe…… I just havent found one yet to be able to make that statement true.

    I worry about my eating every minute of every day! it would just be extremely helpful if there was just at least one person to try and help.

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