Symptoms of Selective Eating Disorder

Sufferers of SED have an inability to eat certain foods based on texture or aroma. "Safe" foods may be limited to certain food types and even specific brands. In some cases, afflicted individuals will exclude whole food groups, such as fruits or vegetables.

The University College London's Institute of Child Health (UK) relates that:

Typically a child or adolescent with selective eating will be within the normal range for both weight and height, and show no abnormality on physical examination. Sometimes selective eating can come on after a period of normal eating, but for many there may be a history of early feeding difficulties or problem with weaning. Eating a highly restricted range of foods is a common feature of toddlers – up to 20 per cent of children below the age of five years are faddy and the problem persists to the age of eight years in about a third of these. However for some young people the problem persists into middle childhood, adolescence and even adulthood.

SED is common in young people with autistic spectrum disorders.

This disorder should not be confused with "Food Avoidance Emotional Disorder" (a childhood avoidance of food brought about by emotional difficulties and not related to body image) or anorexia nervosa (a disorder characterized by a fear of food due to issues related to body weight). SED shares similar characteristics with "Food Neophobia", an avoidance of the consumption of novel foods.