Adult Picky Eaters UK

For Picky-Eating Adults in the UK and worldwide

Welcome November 11, 2006

Children who are picky eaters are expected to grow out of it.  But some of us never did, no matter what our parents tried.  The medical profession could offer no help, and since our condition was not life-threatening, they turned their back on us and left us to our own devices.  Swept us under the carpet, you might say.  And until very recently, there we conveniently stayed.

Now we are adults, left with extremely restricted diets, often dreading social eating situations, for fear our limited eating will embarrass us, often thinking we are the only one in the world with this problem, the only one in the world who has never eaten a fruit or vegetable, and can’t imagine ever being able to eat a “normal” range of foods.   We are left isolated and alone, many of us going to great lengths to hide our problem from others, and limiting our lives and contact with others as a result.

If you are an Adult Picky Eater anywhere in the world, you are not alone, there are hundreds of us out there.  Don’t suffer in silence.  This website is for you.

NB The content of this website is copyright (C) Claire Simmons, with the exception of contributed posts, whose authors retain copyright of their contributions. 


25 Responses to “Welcome”

  1. Lucy Says:


    I am a journalist writing a piece for the Times on picky eaters. It would be great to speak to you, if you have a moment. My number is 07775 706003. Or my email is

    Many thanks and look forward to speaking to you.

    Lucy McDonald

  2. Laura Vass Says:

    What a relief to know that this is obviously a worldwide condition. I know this said UK but I’m hoping that being from America is acceptable. I have always been a picky eater and now at the age of 53 I find myself not having a lot of patience with people no matter if I’ve known them for years or just meeting that make comments to me about being picky. I tend to cut them off at the knees anymore. The question “I have you ever tried it?” ususally gets my dander up right away.

    Here’s my email address

  3. Claire Says:

    Hi Laura
    Yes, America is perfectly acceptable. It only says UK because that’s where I’m based, and so I guess that’s my bias. It’s good to see you.

  4. Leigh Says:

    So I’m not abnormal! I am 40 years old and my husband gets so frustrated with me when he wants to have a nice dinner somewhere but I can’t seem to find anything on the menu to eat. And it’s not just the taste of the food, it’s what it looks like or the texture mainly. I WILL NOT try anything new, and people are shocked when I say ” I have never eaten that”. When we are invited to friends houses for dinner, I always check to see what the menu will be, and if it does not appeal to me, then I will eat prior to going, or once I have returned home.

  5. Wendy Says:

    What a great website you have! I am too a picky eater and work in an industry where I am always either entertaining client’s over food or being entertained myself… over food. The looks and questions I get used to make me feel very insecure about my eating. I know people who force themselves to eat foods they do not like as they would hate to insult the chef, host or table. I could never ever force food into my mouth that I do not like as it would quickly end up in a pool of vomit on the table. Now THAT would be truly offensive. The foods I will not eat do not follow any particular pattern (textures etc…). Simply put, I will not eat anything that comes from any body of water (no seafood, freshwater fish, seaweed…etc…) I do not eat read meat except for the occasional (maybe 1 time a year) cheeseburger but it must be thoroughly cooked and must not taste like beef! The only meats I will eat are Chicken, Turkey and certain types of pig (including prosciutto – which somehow always seems to surprise people). I despise broccoli, any types of squash, zucchini, cauliflower, asparagus, eggplant and soda (especially colas) etc… and as a teen/college student had to PLUG MY NOSE when I drank beer because I hated the taste AND carbonation… but now can tolerate it and actually enjoy some beers! I like spicy foods (love jalapenos) but do not like curry at all – not even the smell! I LOVE lima beans, string beans, corn, peas, carrots, artichoke, peppers etc… I will not eat foie gras or anything that comes from an animal that is not the meat of the animals listed above (except things that are made from milk – but I will not actually drink milk – yuck!). I love garlic, onions, any type of cheese, can eat Feta (from goats, sheep etc…) until the end of time. I only eat my eggs scrambled HARD! I love green peppers and beans and basil! I love olives… so I feel there is no rhyme or reason that what I eat and will not eat. But as I entertain or am entertained in very high-end restaurants… it is a huge challenge. USUALLY there is “something” on the menu I can eat… but there have been occasions when there is nothing I can eat. I like to let people know ahead of time that I have “food issues” — but there are still the list of questions I get asked about these “issues” and it gets really old really fast. But, I just deal with it and ask that others do the same. Last week at a dinner my CEO said… “ask for the veggie plate now so we don’t all have to wait for them to bring it to you once our plates have been set down!” We both laughed! Of course I let the server know ahead of time and he was poking fun. But this is what I deal with daily! I do not understand it… but am glad to see I am not the only one! I am 35 and have many years ahead of me of eating socially… and I do find some comfort in reading through your site and the comments that are left by others! SO what do you make of this… psychological?

  6. LisaB Says:

    I found this site by accident, but I’m so glad I did! I’ve always been something of a picky eater, but it’s definitely gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. (Or maybe it’s just now that I’m an adult I actually get to choose for myself what I will and won’t eat.) My family thinks I’m strange because I don’t particularly like meat, and God forbid there’s gravy on anything–I won’t touch it! (In Pennsylvania Dutch country this is a real oddity.) For me it’s mostly wrapped up in how something smells or its texture. For instance, I can’t stand the smell of eggs, or the texture of anything slimy–Jell-O, or gravy. Ech. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one with food quirks.

  7. Judie Riddell Says:

    Hooray for acidentally finding this website! I have been a picky eater for all of my 69 years. I didn’t even taste catsup until I was out of high school as it was not used in our home. I tasted mustard in my 30’s and that was the end of the condiments list for me. I won’t eat onions, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, seafood, or any spicy food. I always ask about the ingredients in a dish before ordering in a restaurant and read the labels of packaged foods in grocery stores before making my purchase.

    My response to the question of “have you ever tried it” is “yes, and I did not like it.” In fact, I often preempt people by heading them off at the pass by saying that “YES, I have tried it and NO, I don’t like it.”

    Twenty years ago, I went on an 11-day cruise with my fiance and we were assigned to a table with a married couple from our hometown. Wonder of wonders, the husband was as picky as I was and disliked exactly the same foods as I. His wife and my fiance were amazed and no longer said we were “picky,” but that we were just unique in our tastes. We took turns asking the waiter about the ingredients of dishes on the menus.

    Also, when I order something “PLAIN” in a fast food restaurant and it arrives with something on it which I did not order – like a pickle, I return it and wait for my PLAIN item to be made. Of course, I always check the item out before leaving the counter to make sure it is exactly what I ordered.

    Once again, I am so glad to know there are others in the world as picky as I … thanks for your website!


    Reading, Pennsylania USA
    E-mail address:

  8. Claire Says:

    Hi everyone! Glad you found us. Do stick around, won’t you? If only for the results of the Questionnaire, which will be coming in sections.

  9. mariclaire Says:

    Claire –

    I’m looking forward to the questionnaire. What section of the website will it appear in? Thanks again so much for providing a forum for all of us who share in this particular disorder.

  10. Claire Says:

    The link to the questionnaire is on the left under Research/Medical links. There’s quite a lot in it, plus more people keep filling it out, so it will take me a while to analyse it all…I might post the results in parts as I do them.

  11. Annabel Says:

    Thank goodness I am not alone! I am 25 and a terrible eater. I have been for as long as I can remember. My diet basically consists of chips, bread, pasta (with just plain butter no sauce), toast, crackers. No veg or fruit. I do like some fruits but I just don’t want to eat them. Its almost like I can’t be bothered as they aren’t a meal which I would rather eat.

    I totally dread social situations because of my problem. It makes me feel really down and depressed because if I tell anyone about it they will just think I’m being stupid. I’m scared they’ll just laugh at me or look at me funny.

    Its so bad that only my close family and husband know of my problems. None of my friends know. I just avoid situations where I might have to eat.

    I was really cross with my husband at Christmas because he phoned his mum and told her how “good” I was because I tried a few carrots!!! Makes me sound like a child!

    I’m so glad I found this site and hope I can get a bit of support from it.

    Annabel x

  12. Elisabeth Says:

    I am so glad I found this! I thought I was the only person like this! I am 21 years old, and I am trying every thing I can to get over it and eat healthy, due to an insecurity about my weight. I hate going out to dinner with people because I usually only eat chicken strips, no matter where we go.

    I took a vacation to Jamaica a few years ago, the resort was all inclusive and food was free. I seriously ate plates of french fries and alittle ice cream to sustain me because I could not stomach the other foods they had. I don’t eat vegetables, condiments, most fruits, or seafood. If I eat meat, it must be very bland, chicken strips or a PLAIN cheeseburger. My fiance is picky also, but not nearly as bad as I am.

    My family is always making fun of me, expecially around thanksgiving, almost to the point where I opt out of eating with them. My grandma often makes comments about my weight, since I usually only eat fried foods or processed foods, I am a size 16 jean. I am in school and I work full time, so I usually eat at fast food places. Does anyone have any good suggestions on how to beat this? My next stop is to be hypnotized. please email me with suggestions.

  13. Cathy Durbin Says:

    Hi Claire,

    I am researching a one-off documentary for Channel 4 on people who LOVE fast food. It is not a programme about unhealthy eating, but a quirky look at the nation’s favourite food through the eyes of the people who love it the most!

    I am taking the view that many of the ‘picky eaters’ who use this site will not necessarily be down in the dumps about their unusual eating habits, and some may even be happy to talk to me about what their particular brand of fast food means to them. The planned documentary is light-hearted and non-judgemental – it is observational, so there is no doctor who comes in and tries to sort people out. I’m looking for stories from people who have a deep-rooted affection for their fast food obsession.

    At the moment I am just researching the idea, so there is no filming in the pipeline and no obligations to do anything at all. I would like to talk to as many people as possible who love fast food, to help me develop the idea.

    If you are interested, please do give me a call or email!
    Cathy – 0207 284 2020


  14. Helen Says:

    Hi Claire & everyone else reading this,

    My name is Helen and I’m working on a new series of Freaky Eaters for BBC 3. We are currently looking for people to take part in the series, share their experiences with food and try to change the way they eat. The series will offer professional help and advice from a nutritionist and psychologist and aims to over come the issues that have made having a normal diet so difficult.

    If you’d like to chat more about the show please feel free to give me a call on 020 7907 0899 or email

    I look forward to hearing from you

  15. Wency Says:

    Hello Claire,
    My name is Wency, and I’m a Canadian-based reporter, working on a story about picky eating for a national newspaper here in Canada. I’d love to speak with you about your blog.
    Is there an email where I might be able to reach you?
    Thank you.
    All the best,

  16. fiona Says:

    what a fab site never new there were so many ppl like me thought a was just a pain in the neck where food was concerned. reading you site has made me feel so much better you just cant imagine. i am a 48 year old woman who in her time has had to give up relationships because of my fussy eating. thought i was just a freak. the no veg no fruit no currys no beans no sauce the list is endlesss, wow I am not alone yippe!!!!!

  17. Steve Says:

    Hi, I am a picky eater and have been considering hypnosis. I know that hypnosis is much more effective with a problem if the practitioner has a lot of experience in dealing with that particular problem (practice makes perfect, I suppose). I have searched the net for a suitable hypnotist without success. Has anyone tried hypnosis? What were the results? Could we encourage hypnotists out there to develop knowledge and techniques to help us?

  18. Rose Says:


    Im not a picky eater, but my boyfriend (age 19) really is. He wont try anything new but he doesnt have much variety he WILL eat. He wont eat ANY kind of sauces and he doesnt eat many vegetables or even cake. in fact the only things he does eat is chicken chips cheese crisps…. that sort of thing…

    I don’t want to force him into trying stuff if he doesnt want to but does anyone have any tips on maybe introducing more variety in his diet?

  19. Beccy Says:


    I am 27 years old and have suffered with my eating for probably around 23 years. After looking online i have come to realise that i am not the only person like this.
    My diet is literally: Dairylea sandwiches, cereal and semi skimmed milk, Crisps, sweets and French fries (slim chips, fat ones make me sick)
    I have now just been diagnosed with Fatty Liver which is caused by my eating habits.
    They have advised that i need to start eating PROPERLY, which is harder than they think.
    Has anybody tried any different ways of bringing new foods into their diet.
    PLEASE HELP!!!!!

  20. BeccyE Says:

    Hi, I’m 21 and have suffered from picky eating all my life. At one point, all i would eat was cheese-cheese sandwiches cheese on toast, even a plate of grated cheese made me happy! I’ve now managed to move on a little and eat cheese pizza, pasta with sauce-but no bits in the sauce, very very small bits of chicken but with a flavour on, thin fries, the thick ones taste too potatoie, chicken nuggets but not the real chicken kind, they are too stringy and burgers like McDonalds ones because they don’t taste like real beef. I’ve tried things like lettuce but it makes me gag, which every one else thinks is hilarious or that I’m being stupid. My husband doesn’t understand it however hard he tries and he’s learning to adapt to it. I does make things really hard because if we want to go out for a meal we can only go somewhere that theres something for me to eat and it does upset me that I have to put everyone else out because I’m picky. Beccy, I don’t have a solution for you to start eating ‘PROPERLY’ but I wish you lots of luck because I don’t think I could do it!! I’m so happy that I’m not the only picky eater out there!

  21. Ellie Schneider Says:

    Dear Claire,

    I am currently putting together a radio feature for online publication on picky eating in adults and its possible recognition in the US as an eating disorder.

    I am based in Sydney but would love to have a chat if possible.

    My email is

    kind regards,


  22. Jean Says:

    I am a mother of a lovely 18 year old daughter. She is so tired of eating chicken nuggets, French fries, white hamburger bun with 2 slices of velveeta cheese topped with spicy dorito chips for flavoring. She has eaten these foods 2-3 times daily for 16 years. She has never had a slice of meat other than ground up chicken in the nuggets. She has never had a vegetable or fruit. We have seen & spent countless time & money trying to resolve this disorder. She has now become unhappy with the weight she has gained as a result of this eating disorder. She says that she is tired of being told she is pretty, smart and athletically gifted. She does not feel any sort of self awareness about who she is and, as a result, does not like who she is. As a parent, I can say that she has one of the kindest souls, honesty that neither her dad or I could come close to experiencing. We are fortunate to have an open, relaxed and actually quite fun relationship with our daughter. Just need direction as to what road to go down next.

  23. AT Says:

    Finally found out that other people over 18 have this. I’m a picky eater since seven, I’m now 35 and anything raw fruit or veg is filling me with dread. Been looking for someone to help me treat this problem but it’s always about toddlers. This site can help start looking for some kind of treatment. Thank you

  24. Sarah Carson Says:

    Hi, I work at BBC3 and am looking to make a short film with fussy eaters. If anyone is interested in learning more then please email me Thanks

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