Duke Center for Eating Disorders offers specialty programs and services for patients who are picky or selective eaters.
Children or adults who are picky or selective eaters consume an inadequate diet. In some cases, the amount of food eaten is insufficient to promote adequate growth. In other cases, the limited variety of food eaten does not provide sufficient vitamins and minerals needed for optimum health.
The rigid eating habits of picky or selective eaters can create problems within families can increase social isolation and may even limit life experiences.
Some individuals may fail to apply for jobs or promotions for which they have expertise as they fear the demands imposed by frequent company dinners or business lunches.
Picky or selective eating can be a complex problem stemming from a variety of factors that may include biological predispositions, learned experiences, social exposure, and/or personal sensitivities.
Read some preliminary results from our web-based survey of adult picky eaters.
A thorough assessment will help the clinician determine:
Treatment helps individuals both acquire and practice needed skills or to modify problematic behaviors.
An essential aspect of treatment is educating individuals about their bodies: how their sensitivities make sense given their biological inheritance, learning histories, and natural tendencies.
In addition, skills can be taught to help manage fears of certain necessary foods.
Practice sessions are typically recommended, during which time new foods are tried in the therapy room, restaurants, or other common environments.
Clinicians often collaborate with faculty from the Duke Feeding Disorder Service to ensure that any medical causes for picky or selective eating are identified and addressed.
We offer an immersive family program to provide intensive services to individuals who are trying to manage picky eating and their families. This program is designed for an average of five days and is intended both as an innovative treatment model and as a way to provide services to families around the country.
To schedule an appointment at the Duke Center for Eating Disorders or to get a referral, call 919-668-0398 locally or 888-ASK-DUKE (888-275-3853) toll-free, or email DCED_Specialty@dm.duke.edu.
Physicians offering this service include:
This service is available at: