Causes Of Selective Eating Disorder: Its Symptoms And Treatment

Selective eating disorder is a type of eating disorder where a person becomes averse to eat certain foods. This leaves a very small space for foods that are acceptable. Above all the person also refuses to try eating anything new. You may find this condition extremely common among toddlers and children.

They are often fussy and picky at eating certain type of foods. These children are generally called picky eaters. As time passes and the child grows, selective eating disorder generally fades. However, it can become a serious problem if it persists into adulthood.

Those adults who are selective eaters, like to eat only handful of foods, they select and eat foods that they consider it to be safe. The selection of food depends on its type, its taste and smell. In some cases, the choice of food still narrows to particular brand. Partially a psychological and partly an addictive phenomenon, this eating disorder can lead to serious health problems that may include depression, worry, and inhibition to attend social functions.

Selective Eating Disorder Causes

The causative element for selective eating disorder is yet uncertain, and scientists are still not able to determine what the exact cause behind this eating disorder is.

  • The cause of this eating disorder may be varying from one person to another.
  • The person who is suffering from selective eating disorder may reject certain type of food due to an unpleasant incident that has occurred with that food in the past. For example, person may not eat mushroom as it had caused diarrhea and vomiting sometime in his life.
  • The disorder may also arise from the smell, taste, sight and feel of a particular food.
  • People suffering from behavioral disorder are prone to selective eating disorder.
  • More taste buds than average can lead to extra sensory taste perception to certain foods. It is the most common cause for selective eating disorder.

Symptoms Of Eating Disorders

Selective eating disorder symptoms may manifest in variety of ways.

  • They are very choosy and fussy eaters.
  • The child is resistant to eat vegetables and fruits.
  • They are averse to eat certain food due to their taste, smell or texture.
  • There is a narrow range of food items that a person likes.
  • Malnutrition, vitamin and mineral deficiency are common among those who suffer from selective eating disorder.
  • Psychological symptoms include depression, worry and avoidance of social life. It can put strain on personal relations.
  • There is fear of eating new food.

Treatment For Eating Disorder In Children

Treating this disorder requires good counseling.

  • Involve the patient, whether he is child or an adult while preparing the meal. Let him know what you are preparing and how it has to be done. The sole aim is to involve the patient in making food more interesting.
  • Especially in case of a child, you should praise him whenever he eats well.
  • Eating at specific scheduled time is helpful.
  • You should be a role model for the child.
  • Patient should be exposed to different type of food in a gradual manner.
  • Always dine together. Children watch other family members enjoying food and they get exposed to different odor, texture and preparation.

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