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Seen At 11: Growing Number Of Adults Suffer From Food Disgust

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Imagine never having tasted a salad, a burger, or a bowl of spaghetti. Not because you're allergic, but because the food disgusts you.

As CBS2's Kristine Johnson explained,  it's a real eating disorder for more and more adults who are sick of food.

"To me, it's like urine or feces being mixed in," Alexandra Logue said.

For Logue, just the thought of eating fish makes her sick to her stomach.

"What I have for seafood is classified as disgust, which means I can't even make contact with it," Logue said.

Logue's severe food aversion started when she was a child and didn't end there.

"I've gotten better. I will eat salad now. I will eat asparagus or broccoli if I have to," she said.

Everybody has one or two foods they don't like, hard-boiled eggs or Brussels sprouts for example, but research shows as much as 5 percent of the population from the newly classified eating disorder.

For some it's the texture of the food that repulses them. For others it's a certain type of food.

"We spend more time eating and preparing food than we do any other activity," food scientist, Dr. Paul Rozin explained.

For an extremely picky eater socializing can be incredibly difficult, because sufferers are often too embarrassed to eat in front of others.

"I saw one adult who I think ate five foods. She wouldn't eat anything with lumps," Dr. Rozin said.

Extremely picky eaters also have a very strong preference for a certain brand of food, suffer from anxiety when faced with a new food, and can have difficulty chewing or swallowing food.

"Try to understand people are different in what they taste and what they perceive," Logue said.

Logue has written extensively on the psychology of eating and drinking said it's difficult to pinpont the cause of food aversions.

She said that one thing is for sure, it's not a choice.

"The research is pretty clear. If you try to make someone eat something you're going to have a reaction that is not what you want," she said.

Experts said it is possible for extreme picky eaters to expand their menus by introducing new foods slowly and by heavily disguising them in foods they love.


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