Friday, 6 February 2015

Being fussy Vs having an eating disorder

A lot of people don't think that people like me actually have an eating disorder, they seem to think we are just fussy. So what is the difference between having an eating disorder and simply being a fussy eater?

Being fussy

Most people have a few foods that they don't like and of course that is perfectly normal. I guess being a fussy eater means that you have a few more foods that you don't like than average. How someone determines what this average is I have no idea.

What I do know is that most people who are simply fussy eaters will have tasted the things they don't like and actually know that they don't like them. I also highly doubt that fussy eaters are anywhere near as repulsed by certain foods as people like me are. I doubt they have problems choosing a place to eat for fear that there will be nothing on the menu they can even look at, or that they have panic attacks at the thought of an unfamiliar food environment.

Selective eating disorder

People like me who have selective eating disorder (SED) have often never tasted many of the foods they don't like. A lot of us are simply repulsed by the way something smells, or even how it looks.

Thankfully it doesn't happen to me, but I know some people with SED who have full blown panic attacks if they are invited out to dinner for fear that someone will order something that they simply can't be in the same room as, or that there will be nothing available for them to eat. Many people with SED find social situations involving food terrifying, maybe because people will order things they cant be around or there will be nothing for them to eat, but more so because eating in front of other people is a source of panic for some. Some people are so embarrassed by the way they eat, or just hate everyone asking questions like 'is that all you are having?'

Many of us get physical symptoms of our disorder, usually being sick if we accidentally eat something we know we can't have. This has happened to me several times, once just because my hotdog had touched an onion!

For some of us, there are days where we can't eat anything at all, not even our 'safe foods.' It's a strange thing, I honestly can't explain it but some days nothing is appealing at all and I often have to force myself to just eat something even though I really don't want to, breakfast cereal is my go to food in this situation.

People with SED are also a lot more worried about the ingredients in food than people who are simply fussy. You might hear someone say that they can't eat onions for example, but they may be able to have onions in their food in small pieces or something. Well someone with SED no only wont have the thing with onions in it, but would be able to spot a hidden onion at ten paces. As I mentioned earlier, I was once physically sick just because my food had touched an onion.


  1. Are all breakfast cereals ok for you, or just some? For instance, do you like porridge? Many breakfast cereals are fortified with extra vitamins, so eating those can supply some of your vitamin needs.

  2. Most cereal is ok, if it doesn't have fruit in it. I would say breakfast is the one meal I can do reasonably healthy food. I like a lot of the healthier style cereals like special k or wheetabix although I admit I do like some of the unhealthier ones too but I let myself have them because those are usually the fortified ones. I do like porridge - its nice and plain.