Selective Eating Disorder Is an Actual Thing to Be Taken Seriously

The always-sensational British press is at it again: The Telegraph reports that a disorder we have heretofore never heard of is plaguing the UK. "Food phobias are ruining our relationships" screams out the headline, which in its subhead informs us that there's a "growing phenomenon" of something scary-sounding called Selective Eating Disorder (SED).

Surprise! Turns out SED is basically what our ex-boyfriend who started crying if ketchup touched his plate was suffering from. It's a real thing — a disorder marked by a pathological inability to eat any foods that fall outside of a severely limited set — and while it is clinically an eating disorder, the article grudgingly notes that it's not nearly as destructive as the more mediagenic anorexia or bulimia.

Still, there are the extreme examples that psychologist Felix Economakis cites: A woman in her mid-30s who consumes nothing but cheddar sandwiches and cheese pizza; or a woman in her 20s who eats only burgers, fries, bacon, and beans. Ekonomakis claims that he can cure these poor souls via a series of strange techniques such as — this is not a joke — strapping them to the wings of aircraft.

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