Thursday, August 6, 2015

Are You a Picky Eater? You Might Also Have ADHD.


While watching television a couple of days ago, I saw a piece that touched on my reality. And, being ADHD, it went out of my head almost as soon as the segment was over. And, in typical fashion, it popped back in a few minutes ago. I had to do a Google search to see if I remembered correctly, and there I saw the headline:

The New York Times
Holy Hannah! I have been trying to explain my picky eating to people for as long as I can remember. I have been diagnosed several times with anxiety, depression, and (of course) ADHD.

The first story I was told about my fussiness was my mother running into my paternal grandfather in front of a store with a soda fountain. Grandpa Vincent wanted to go buy me a baby ice cream cone, but my mother told him I would not eat it. He replied that all children like ice cream and went ahead and bought me one. Within a couple of seconds of handing it to me, it was on the ground. Grandpa started to get angry, but my mother told him she had warned him. I was in a stroller, so that gives you an idea of how young I was. (For the record, I love ice cream now.)

I have never liked mushrooms because they "pop" when I bite into them, I quit eating ham at age four because of the texture, all pork in my 30's, and I cut all the fat off everything. Well, I should say I used to; I have been a pescatarian for the last 15 years, although I eat mostly vegetarian.


The study reported in The New York Times came from Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics

The article reports that the study showed picky eating does not cause the psychological issues, but picky eaters tend to be people who are sensitive to the world. 

'"Their sensory experience is more intense in the areas of taste, texture and visual cues. And their internal experience may be more intense, so they have stronger feelings,” said Dr. Zucker, who is also director of the Duke Center for Eating Disorders.' (Peachman, NYT)

If you have a picky eater that you are trying almost anything to get them to eat, you can relax. According to Dr. Zucker, “They’re sensitive kids who may be anxious or a little depressed; so cutting up fruits into funny shapes is not going to do the trick for these kids.” What it should do, however, is make parents aware that their child's picky eating might signify that possible issues exist that can be dealt with early on.

"RESULTS: Both moderate and severe levels of SE were associated with psychopathological symptoms (anxiety, depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) both concurrently and prospectively. However, the severity of psychopathological symptoms worsened as SE [Selective Eating] became more severe. Impairment in family functioning was reported at both levels of SE, as was sensory sensitivity in domains outside of food and the experience of food aversion." (Zucker, et al., Pediatrics)

"CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that health care providers should intervene at even moderate levels of SE. SE associated with impairment in function should now be diagnosed as avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, an eating disorder that encapsulates maladaptive food restriction, which is new to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition." (Zucker, et al., Pediatrics)

Honestly, I feel much better after reading this article. I was always hypersensitive, and I still cry very easily. It is nice to find out that everything correlates and helps me to understand why I am me. I just wish this information was known a long time ago.