Calling all adult picky eaters--you’re wanted for a study

Before we blogged about adult picky eaters a while back, we had no idea that extreme picky eating lasted into adulthood. Llike many people we assumed it was just a childhood phenomenon.

But the comments the post generated let us know that there were indeed many adults who were picky eaters, and they related the impact their food aversions were having on their lives. Some told how relationships and social lives suffered because of it. Others were fearful that subsisting on a diet big on simple carbs such as bread and French fries was damaging their health, or that they didn’t want their children to be affected.

We also discovered a website,, which provides support, resources, information, and an online forum for adult picky eaters.

This week we learned, via ABC News, that researchers at Duke University in Durham, N.C., and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh have set up a registry that’s part of the Food Finicky Eating in Adults Study designed to find out more about adult picky eaters.

“We want to learn more about adults who describe themselves as ‘picky eaters,’ ” reads the intro to a survey that potential participants are asked to take. “Much of the research on picky eating has been done in children. We know very little about what picky eating looks like in adults--and whether such eating habits cause any problems for either yourself or your family.”

Among the questions are, “Do you get anxious about social situations because you will be expected to eat?,” “Are you sensitive to the smells of food?” and “Are there certain textures of food that you refuse to eat?”

According to the site there is no limit to the number of people who can enroll, so picky eaters 18 years and older who would like to be involved can still sign up.

-- Jeannine Stein / Los Angeles Times