Causes, treatment and research

Dr. Bradley C. Riemann, the clinical director of obsessive compulsive disorders at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Milwaukee, says: "For the most part it's not trauma or memories that are the problem. It's more about taste, texture, smell and sight. It can stem from an incident. Say you've gagged on meat before, you may develop a fear of choking and become scared of eating anything chewy. It has also been linked to OCD and a fear of dirt and contamination over how the food has been prepared."

Resetting patterns of behavior is commonly done using cognitive behavioral therapy. Dr. Riemann explains, “Exposure also works well. Say a person eats only soup; we’ll put noodles in it and then work our way up to chicken.”

Research is currently under way at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as well as at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

SED can be caused by an extra sensitive taste sensation.