picky, picky

July 7, 2010

a new eating disorder?

picky-eater staple: the all-american grilled cheese
in pediatrics, one of the more challenging topics to broach at a clinic visit is nutrition. i am not kidding when i say that in my resident primary care clinic, it was the exception rather than the rule to have a patient on the healthy area of the weight-for-age or BMI growth curve.

not all of my patients were overweight — oh no, i had plenty of failure-to-thrive kids on my panel to balance things out. interestingly, one thing that both groups tended to have in common was pickiness. older adolescents would proudly admit this outright (“i don’t eat green things”), while parents of toddlers often expressed frustration about their kids’ unwillingness to tolerate even carefully shrouded vegetables in their meals.

i came across this wall street journal article and learned that apparently, this doesn’t always end in adulthood!

taken from the article, here is one adult’s ‘typical day’ of eating:

processed to the max, and OH what a lonely existence to always avoid eating with friends!

the article refers to this sort of rigidity as ‘a new eating disorder’ called selective eating. i don’t know — sometimes i wonder about the medicalization of certain traits which seem to stem more from environment. then again, i certainly could see how being this limited would be detrimental (both health-wise and psychologically) and might warrant treatment, so maybe the label would be a good thing.

i grew up eating tofu and homemade whole wheat bread. my parents DID accuse my sister and me of pickiness at times, but i think it was more wanting to eat what ‘normal’ kids had. they never prepped a special ‘kids dinner’ for us; until the ridiculously busy high school years, there was one meal served and really no alternatives. i may have groused back then, but to this day i’ll try almost anything as long as i’m not ethically opposed to it.

i hope to do the same when we have kids — but of course it IS different with every kid and you never know how things are going to play out!

were you a picky eater growing up? how about now?

do you think this should be classified as ‘disorder’ or is it just a product of our society?

if you have kids, what kind of strategies do you use to avoid this picky fate?

into the swing of things
for anyone curious, my first day ‘on the pager’ went just fine! it turned out not to be a terribly busy day (NO new consults – just follow-ups) so i had plenty of time to get eveything done. there is so much to learn, though! i tried to treat every page i got with a question as a chance to look up something new. maybe after a few months of this i’ll actually feel like i know something about pediatric endocrinology . . .



workout: 5 miles with 2 @ tempo.
miles 0-1.5: 9:12/mi
miles 1.5 – 3.5: 8:12/mi average
miles 3.5 – 5: 9:08/mi


cooking: did not happen.

HP update: i have one day left to focus on my current resolution of keeping work and play separate. while i haven’t been perfectly adherent to my resolution, just having it out there has made me more aware when i think about checking my non-work email or (horrors!) facebook at work or opening up our hospital lab system to check on things randomly in the evening at home.

i think this is okay — after all, there is a time and a place for taking breaks during work, and if done sparingly, it can be a nice reward for a longer period of focused productivity. but doing so consciously and with intention is the way to go. i’ll be continuing to work on this throughout the month but will add on another goal tomorrow!