Adult Picky Eaters UK

For Picky-Eating Adults in the UK and worldwide

Saturday, A Re-boot. February 11, 2012

Filed under: General — Claire @ 2:33 am

Hello to all new readers, and welcome, and thank you for dropping by.

This website is for anyone who suffers from, or is interested in what is increasingly being termed ‘Selective Eating Disorder’ – adults with limited eating.  It’s slightly misleading to call it ‘selective eating’, because there’s no element of choice about the things we can’t eat – if it was a choice, it wouldn’t be a problem, would it?   

The thing that makes us not be able to eat certain things is a reflex – which by definition is involuntary.  But we’re used to being called picky or fussy (terms which also imply choice) , by people who can’t grasp this fact, and there doesn’t seem to be a word at the moment for being unable to eat things, so it will have to do.

The aim of this blog is twofold – first, to help unite and support the many people who suffer from this condition (and from other people’s lack of understanding), and second, to get the point across to the wider world that this is a problem and not a choice.


20 Responses to “Saturday, A Re-boot.”

  1. jade Says:

    I’m 19 years old and all my life vegetables have never been a part of my diet. I’ve tried with help from family and friends to eat some but I can’t stomach it. Same with fruit. I only like Apple’s and even then I can’t eat the skin. I’ve always been called fussy and I’d love to go to a nice dinner without having to ask special requests so I can have a meal I like. I live on sweets, crisps and meat. I can eat potato but only in microwave chip form and small roast potatoes. I want to be considered normal since I’ve had a lot of people judge me cause of my diet.

    • sexualaddictionofthelocalgirl Says:

      Hi jade. I’m amie and I’m 23. I’m very similar to you. I can’t eat peel on apples. The texture is awful. Like you I live on junk food and meat. Veg brings out this terror in me. I’m at a low point about my eating habits right now and that’s how I found this blog. Your post made me realise its not just me 🙂 thanks x

  2. anon Says:

    I have just found this site and have never heard of SED before. I have for as long as i can remember been ‘fussy’ with eating. Granted i am alot better then i was when i was a child but i still generally have a bad relationship with food. I tend to stick to eating the same meals each week i do try to experiment with other foods, and the majority of the time i do eat a large quantity of the food i like, but the slightest texture or smell puts me off immediatly, or i have to go through routines to make sure food is exactly how i like it. And eating the same things all the time becomes boring or i become sick of eating it. I never thought this was a problem that it was just me, my parents said i would grow out of it. But now im 21 and due to my limited food range and people always judging me on my weight saying do you eat anything? how can you be that small and eat what you eat? which just makes me feel terrible. I feel like im trapped in a cycle i try to eat more to gain weight but nothing works and with my varied diet makes it near impossible. Honestly dont no what i can do.

  3. Great blog! I wouldn’t have as much of a problem with my picky eating if the general public would just leave me alone. I am a person underneath my dislike for tomatoes, ya know.

  4. Patxi Says:

    Hello Claire and everyone:

    First of all, sorry for my bad english.

    My name is Patxi. I´m an adult picky-eater from Barcelona, Spain. I´m 42 years old. I´ve been a picky eater all my life. I can´t eat vegetables, and most of fruit. Only bananas and some apples. And I have problems with sauces like mayonnaise, etc.

    A few months ago I discovered the Bob Krause´s site “Picky eating adults support”. I felt a great relief and happiness. I´m not the only one!!

    Now I´ve discovered your site. It´s amazing. I´m reading all the posts, step by step.

    Sadly, in the spanish-speaking world, the “pickyness” it´s only recognised for children. It´s a children´s condition. Be picky in adulthood its considered childish, inmature, stupid, weird.. etc.

    There are no internet sites in spanish at all about adult picky eaters. I´m now trying to post threads about this problem in the “off-topic” sections of internet forums about another items. Maybe in the future, if i have time, i will open my own site in spanish about this matter. It´s necessary for the people to be aware of the suffering of the people with this problem.

    Thank you for your magnificent blog Claire. I hope you understand my bad english.

    • Chase S Says:

      Thank you so much for your post! I am a 21-year-old “picky eater” and I have struggled with eating many types of foods for my whole life. Knowing that there are people in other countries who have the same problem helps emphasize the fact that this is a condition and not just spoiled American/English kids turning into spoiled American/English adults. The more we spread the word, the easier it will be to explain to others at social events that we have a problem that we are trying to deal with.

      I strongly encourage you to start a blog in Spanish, especially if there aren’t any already. It’s so difficult to talk about our condition to those who don’t have it, and Spanish-speakers need a place where they can discuss ways to deal with our problem with others who have the same issue. Thank you again!

  5. Bryony Says:

    Wow, just found this sight and think it’s great someone has a blog about this problem. I don’t know of anyone like me. People who know about it call me fussy. I basically eat the same thing every day with a little variation. Cod fishfingers and pasta and cheese for dinner, or for a change Scampi and chips with cheese. For breakfast and lunch might be toast or bread, cheese, potato waffles or cereal. I don’t eat any veg and rarely but sometimes eat an apple or banana. I’m now 36 and have eaten this my whole life, with the occasional frankfurter! I’ve known in the back of my mind that it isn’t healthy but I’ve been fine. But now I’m getting older I feel like I should change for the sake of my future health but I don’t know how. It would be nice to read more about your experiences. I don’t think anyone else I know really understands

    • Tia Karlsen Says:

      Dear Brynony,

      I am a journalist writing a longer piece on selective eating for D2 magazine, the weekly magazine of Norway’s leading business paper The Norwegian Business Daily. Claire has put out my request as an entry on its own, but I thought it might be more effective to contact people who I think will fit the article (which you do) directly.

      So: Growing up with both a brother and a friend who are so called picky eaters, I’ve always been curious about what causes selective eating and what it’s like being an adult selective eater. This year, as you may know, selective eating disorder for adults (Arfid) was recognized as a diagnosis in the US, so I thought that it might be a good occation to do an article on the subject. Not that everyone who’s a picky eater has the arfid-diagnosis, but I think it still might be helpful in explaining some of the mechanisms behind selective eating. I would love to interview you for the article, as I’ve been having trouble finding anyone here in Norway who are selective enough with their food. You can contact me anytime (though preferably as soon as possible, as deadline is approaching), either by email at, or by calling me on (0047) 930 19 878.

      Tia Karlsen

  6. Lucy Says:

    Great post thank you ! 🙂

  7. Reuben Says:

    Having read briefly through parts of this blog I am a little confused as to what is being advocated here. I currently live in a student house with someone with the blandest and most unhealthy diet I have ever seen. What I don’t understand, is that he is reluctant to even taste anything new. Now there are plenty of foods I won’t eat. I won’t eat them because I have tried many of them, on more than one occasion in my lifetime and found them to be unpleasant to my palette.
    The sheer lack of interest in even trying new foods amazes me and I find it borders on the childish. I was an extremely picky infant, but I grew out of it and feel there is nothing stopping others doing the same. Another curious fact about my housemate is that I often find him watching cookery shows. I don’t understand the pleasure he gets, as he never cooks anything more complicated than 20 mins in the oven at 180 degrees.
    In conclusion, judging by the reaction of some users of this blog I am sure many people reading this will be grossly offended by my lack of tolerance, but I genuinely think that you are immature, close minded and will probably all get type 2 diabetes at an early age.

    • Blue Meeple Says:


      Why does what your roommate eats matter to you?
      Why does whether or not he tries new foods matter to you?
      Why do his television habits matter to you?
      Why does ANY OF IT matter at all to you?

      • Reuben Says:

        Mainly because he is a friend I have been living withing for a couple of years now. I am concerned it will have an adverse effect on his health and any attempt to engage him in conversation he makes the whole thing seem to be some great awkward taboo. I don’t know what your diet is like but I observe him eat nothing but white bread and breaded chicken and only drink orange squash at half half measure because ‘water is boring’.

    • Chris Says:

      Reuben, the fact you consider people like us immature is face value of the fact of how people simply do not understand what it’s like. I’m 28 years old and serving in the Armed Forces and have been all over the world. My food range is limited to say the least and within that range certain things have to be done a particular way or even that’s out of the equation. The humility of having to eat a bag of crisps for dinner because you don’t like any of the sandwiches or other provision made by the military is horrible and trying to eat in some of the places I’ve been has been near impossible.

      My wife finds it hard to understand but does her best, and now we have our first child I’m so keen to change my habits so that she doesn’t grow up the same as me. But to just ‘stick food in your mouth and try it’ is not as easy for us as it may be for you. I’ve tried new foods in recent years and some have stuck (mainly foods I liked but with a different sauce, ie curry) and some I’ve eaten, liked, but then not eaten again because in my mind its a food I haven’t liked and so can’t change (lasagne). I’m sure that will be even harder for you to understand, but that should serve as a point as to the level that this problem can reach. To call it immature and close minded is easy, in fact I consider myself extremely childish and this problem is a massive embarrasment to me, not helped by the fact that people like you have no idea how it can make us feel.

      Maybe just bare that in mind before openly slating everyone who perhaps feels the same and takes just a little comfort from blogs like these, I certainly have and only found it whilst researching methods or stories of people who have made succesfull changes to their eating habits.

  8. Jacko Says:

    Maybe he feels that you judge him, or don’t understand, Reuben.

    I feel you might be missing the point a bit, or choosing not to hear what people are saying here: the whole point is that this is something we didn’t grow out of, and something that isn’t a choice. You may well “feel” there is nothing stopping us growing out of it like you did, but clearly something did stop us. He’s probably watching those food programmes because he wishes he could eat that stuff, and that’s as close as he can get at the moment.

    If you really are concerned for his health, the best way to help him is first and foremost to show a little compassion, accept that he’s got a real problem, not a lifestyle choice, and at least try to understand that it may well bother, worry, or embarrass him at least ten times more than it irritates you. Maybe you could even point him to this website so he knows that he isn’t alone, and there’s other people struggling to overcome the same problem.

    Without wanting to be too blunt, it’s attitudes like yours that make us feel ashamed to even seek help.

  9. MaxV Says:

    I am also adult picky in here
    It’s great for me.I just doing a 2 shows per day now.

  10. Andy Says:

    Hi people,

    I was also once a fussy eater. I then went to University and had to cook for my self.. after a couple of years I can now eat anything. Being able to cook my own food, prepare it how I want it and eat it when I wanted it seemed to do the trick.. My problem lies with my girlfriend. she is also a fussy eater.. and it is driving me insane. I’m trying to help her eat more foods but even before a food is presented to her.. just the name of a food.puts her off. If something doesn’t happen drastically I feel like our relationship is going to end and I dont know how to solve it. Because she is a fussy eater my eating habbits have decreased massively…. I find my self eating a lot of fast food because thats all that she wants and as a result I am not functioning 100% what should I do?


  11. So glad to find this page – like many others, I spent many years thinking I was the only one. It’s not a simple thing to deal with, it can’t help but affect your life, and the main reason it DOES have such a big effect is that most people don’t understand it or aren’t familiar with it. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard “Why don’t you just try it?” from some well-meaning friend who doesn’t understand, or believe when I explain, that any new or unfamiliar food has an even money chance of making me gag, which I would prefer not to do at their table, thank you very much. It really is very hard. When just the smell of casseroles or raw beetroot is nauseating, the idea of eating it is a degree of magnitude beyond that, Saying ‘you don’t know till you try’, or ‘you might like it, you never know’ isn’t all that helpful. This isn’t to say we don’t make an effort. I’ve made some progress over the years but it’s been slow and hard. What would help would be if people understood it a bit more, and actually took you at your word when you explained that a tomato or a shrimp is no less repulsive as an item of food than a cockroach instead of assuming you’re being melodramatic.
    Cooking for yourself certainly helps. You get to be familiar with the individual ingredients, so you can tackle them one at a time rather than in force, so to speak, but it’s never easy. I’ve found I do find new things from time to time but certain things are as off-limits as they’ve ever been.
    The odd thing is, I often find myself thinking, of course it’s silly. Why do I let this thing control me? What’s so scary about a beetroot? Then when I get close to one I can hardly keep my stomach down. Sorry to be graphic but there seem to be people here who drop in just to patronise us or tell us to grow up, I’d just like them to get the full picture before they get all judgmental.

    • Chris Says:

      This is a fantastic post and it’s exactly how I would describe myself, only better than I’d do it! I’ll be showing this to the missus tomorrow so she can see exactly what I mean, you’ve written what I’ve failed to be able to describe to her in places, like the cockroach analogy.

  12. Tia Karlsen Says:

    Dear Claire,

    I am a journalist writing a longer piece on selective eating disorder for D2 magazine, the weekly magazine of Norway’s leading business paper The Norwegian Business Daily. I would love to interview you for the article, as I think you could provide some great insights. You can contact me anytime, either by email at, or by calling me on (0047) 930 19 878.

  13. Ann Karin Says:

    Thank you, thank you Tia Karlsen, for making my life easier.Thank you for the piece on Selective eating disorder that you had in the Norwegian D2 Magazine. For the first time, I feel that I can accept myself and accept this problem I have had all my life.I don’t have to be that embarrassed anymore:))) I am from Norway, and will call you tomorrow!!! :))))

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s