What is Phobia?
According to Wikipedia, a phobia is defined as:
An irrational, persistent fear of certain situations, objects, activities, or persons. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject. When the fear is beyond one's control, or if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made.
Up to 18% of Americans suffer from phobias, including 10-15% of all children. However, those that seek help have a high rate of remission. Successful treatment methods include Desensatization Therapy, Cognative Behavioral Therapy, and the use of certain antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.
*Please note that phobias are not mere dislikes, but severe and paralyzing fear in response to the related trigger.
Food phobias fall under the diagnostic category of "specific phobias," which are irrational fears triggered by a particular environmental stimulus. While particularly common among people diagnosed with eating disorders, food phobias can also be found in otherwise mentally healthy people.
Below I've complied a comprehensive list of food-specific phobias. As you read it, you may feel the urge to laugh, but please remember to be sensitive in the presense of someone who struggles with one of these disorders. It is easy to make light of someone's fear, especially of something as seemingly innocuous as a common edible, but for the phobic, the fear is very real, and sometimes crippling.
List of Food-Related Phobias
- Acerophobia- Fear of sourness
- Alektorophobia- Fear of chicken
- Alliumphobia- Fear of garlic
- Bacillophobia- Fear of microbes
- Bacteriophobia- Fear of bacteria
- Botanophobia- Fear of plants
- Carnophobia- Fear of meat
- Cibophobia- Fear of food
- Consecotaleophobia- Fear of chopsticks
- Coprastasophobia- Fear of constipation
- Defecaloesiphobia- Fear of painful bowels movements
- Deipnophobia- Fear of dining or dinner conversations
- Dipsophobia- Fear of drinking
- Emetophoia- Fear of vomiting
- Frigophobia- Fear of cold things
- Geumophobia- Fear of taste
- Hematophobia- Fear of blood
- Hydrophobia- Fear of water
- Hygrophobia- Fear of liquids
- Ichthyophobia- Fear of fish
- Iophobia- Fear of poison
- Lachanophobia- Fear of vegetables
- Mageirocophobia- Fear of cooking
- Methyphobia- Fear of alcohol
- Mycophobia- Fear of mushrooms
- Necrophobia- Fear of dead things
- Obesophobia- Fear of gaining weight
- Oenophobia- Fear of wine
- Olfactophobia- Fear of smells
- Ornithophobia- Fear of birds
- Ostraconophobia- Fear of shellfish
- Osmophobia- Fear of odors
- Phagophobia- Fear of swallowing
- Pnigophobia- Fear of choking
- Rhypophobia- Fear of defecation
- Sitophobia- Fear of eating
- Teniophobia- Fear of tapeworms
- Thermophobia- Fear of hot things
- Toxophobia- Fear of being accidentally poisoned
- Urophobia- Fear of urine or urinating
- Verminophobia- Fear of germs
- Xanthophobia- Fear of the color yellow
- Xerophobia- Fear of dryness
As with any mental illness, you should never self-diagnose. If you or someone you know may suffer from an eating disorder or phobia, please see your physician for a referral. You are not crazy. There is help. Psychotherapy and psychiatry are key pieces to recovery.
To read a complete list of specific phobias, including those not related to food, visit the Phobia List, or to learn more about eating disorders in particular, please check out the links below:
- The Signs And Symptoms of Eating Disorders
- Common Myths About Eating Disorders Debunked
- Top Ten Worst Things to Say to Someone With an Eating Disorder
- Pro-Anorexia: The New Online Predator
- Celebrities with Eating Disorders - List and Pics
Vicar of Doncaster - School Choir lead on June 07, 2013:
Hello there young Stephen and how art thou on this fine sunny day?
Join me in a brief hymn if you would....
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful
The vicar spiderman'd.... them all.....
Amen my son
Steve Armstrong on June 07, 2013:
Hey Up....Long time no see Vicar..... are you still in the clergy I had heard that you were right defrocked......not for the first time ah up lad...
never eaten white sauce since the last time we met
Vicar of Doncaster - School Choir lead on June 07, 2013:
I do sincerely hope my motivational spiderman'ing technique with the local choir back in 1947 ever led to any whitesauceaphobia.
Steve Armstrong on June 07, 2013:
Hey up, I have a fear of finding any white sauce on my dinner, and go to great lengths to avoid this. I know it makes me very unpopular at restaurants and I feel this coupled with my very strong Northern accents can give the wrong impression. I wish people would understand that we can't all be the same......
Weivogiargedo on March 08, 2013:
When i used to acquire on top of lifetime but lately I've truly developed a new opposition.
Mini on November 29, 2012:
i am phobic of french fries because i was on a medication that made me think that the lunch ladies at school were cooking mice with the french fries and that people were being incinerated in the school kitchen. i smelled things that weren't there. stratera = devil's drug. i didn't eat for 5 days straight, only slept for 2 hours everynight without food, cried everyday, and wanted to commit suicide at school and make everyone at my school think it was there fault, and i saw this little blue flame in a black surrounding all the time and he told me that everyone at my school was trying to contaminate my soul and ruin me. yeah, pretty effed up, and awful, and so french fries are what i associate with my mental collapse.
Janiee on April 02, 2012:
I have a horrendous fear of condiments. I CANNOT stand to be anywhere near condiments. Such and ketchup, mustard , mayo , relish , & things such as that.
Lisa on February 04, 2012:
Is there a name for people who have food texture issues?
Anji on January 28, 2012:
I have a fear of RAW meat, especially chicken...My friends and family think that's weird, but I eat chicken. I actually LOVE to eat meat, but I don't like to see it raw, or smell raw meat. I'm 17...
K on January 10, 2012:
I had this problem as severe as all of you. I graduated from college, and I moved to be an Au pair in Barcelona Spain.put yourself in a situation where you have no choice but to try food. I am eating everything now. It is literally a miracle. I don't even know how it worked or what happened. It just worked...
lioness82 on December 25, 2011:
This is crazy! There are more people out there like me:) I developed my eating habits when I was 13. Before then I believe I ate everything or was made to. We didn't really have the option of what we wanted to eat growing up but more like what we had. Anyway when I was 13 I quit eating red meats & just had a certain brand of deli slices, hot dogs, and boneless skinless chicken breast that I would eat. From there I progressed into not eating any meat at all except for really crispy bacon. All other meats make me sick. Its more of a texture thing I believe. It can be a bit of a challenge sometimes though since everyone I know are carnivores. Like at gatherings everyone worries about what I am going to eat etc. I was at my aunts wedding a week ago and they had food. I made myself bean & rice tacos but a piece of meat somehow mingled in with the pico de gallo and I had it in my mouth. Needless to say I wasn't able to eat anything after that and anything that I had eaten was no longer present. I like going out to eat but sometimes the cross contamination can hinder me at the worst times. I just hate biting into a cheese enchilada and finding carne in it. It makes me gag. I find it odd that most of us like carbs as I also love breads pastas etc. I don't have a problem with condiments just some foods that are a bit slimy they remind me of a loogy - so gross. I can't say that I am underweight more opposite. I never really thought about not liking to try new food but now that it's mentioned I stick to the same foods at restaurants I go to and what I have at home. It is a bit difficult for me to go outside of what I know maybe because it's such a pain to always have to alter the menu to make it more friendly to my liking. Maybe I'm picky, have a phobia, or OCD - probably all 3!!! I love sweets to. It's just really hard explaining to everyone why I am this way. Most of the time I just say I'm vegetarian to keep it simple.
Elizabeth on December 15, 2011:
So I'm 14 years old and I'm at boarding school. Since starting boarding school (3 months ago) my anxiety has come back. I struggled with it as a child and grew out of it. Now it has come back full force and it's absolutely awful.
I have a specific kind of anxiety Emetophoia- Fear of vomiting. I have a bunch of other fears but all of them lead to the throwing up thing (germs in general, people laying in my bed, eating new foods- all can lead to becoming sick and throwing up). I just don't know what to do at this point. I can't even really write about with out feeling a bit nauseous.
I have a small fear of trying new foods. It’s not every kind of food, but specific ones: nuts. My brother has a severe peanut and treenut allergy and I was not exposed to a lot of nuts. Now I stop myself from trying nutty things for fear my throat will close and I will die.
I have panic attacks at restaurants a lot. I will get nervous before I go about getting nervous, and then in turn I will feel nervous. Something about restaurants makes me really uncomfortable. The low lighting, close proximity, pressure to eat, gross noises of everyone chewing and plates clanking makes me feel sick.
I love food and I love the taste of food, it doesn't have anything to do with that. It's actually really sad. I miss loving and finding joy in food. When everyone is wondering what to order, all I want to do is leave because I feel so sick. I never actually throw up when this happens. I've come pretty close.
I know I'm not the only one with this fear and people always say that I'm "not alone" because a lot of people have anxiety. But no matter how many times people tell me this I'm still alone when it counts most. When I'm sitting at the table about to throw up, no one there understands. Just because other people have this problem, I don't feel cured. In that moment, I feel as alone as I could possibly be. It's so hard to see everyone laughing and having a good time when I feel like I'm having a horrible time. I feel like I'm not normal at all. It feels unfair that I can't just be a normal 14 year-old girl and have worry-free fun like everyone else.
Has anyone over come this? I feel like there are no other options. My mom is a therapist so I feel like if she has no solutions then who could. I'm seeing a counselor but she won't give me any solutions because it "seems too formulated".
I just want to be fixed.
I know it’s not that simple, but I’m just so done with this.
JimB on December 13, 2011:
I am fifty-six years old and since I was five years old I cannot eat ANY fruits or vegetables except corn and potatoes. Tomato sauce is fine but not tomatoes themselves. No mustard, mayo, salad dressing, salads, any of the "good" things for me. I have a severe gag reflex. I have been living with this curse all of my life. I have sought therapy many times and it has always been down played by all of them as no big deal or they say it is so engrained in my mind that there is no cure. It got so embarrassing at times that I contemplated suicide. I'm a freak in my family as no one in my family of five brothers and sisters have this issue. Through the years of teasing and ridicule I learned to avoid many dinner situations by becoming a workaholic. If there is a cure or a solution I have not found it yet. I even researched ways to eliminate my sense of taste to no avail. I don't wish this on anyone as it is truly a curse.
Madeline on December 06, 2011:
I LOVE food, and feel sooo bad for all of you, and hope you all solve your problems. But i HATE crackers,, just regular saltine crackers, they are so nasty. Is there the name of a phobia of crackers?
k on November 26, 2011:
jsj: yes i understand where your coming from. && kno that ur not a freak! i feel the same way tho. im like that too tho i have some trouble eating soups sometimes. cuz i don't kno exactly what's in them im scared there might be something weird in it or salsa i can't hardly eat because its too chunky. but just kno: your not alone and its not uncommon (: hope i make u feel better
JSJ on November 26, 2011:
I do feel very alone with it... I don't think it's germs exactly, I am cautious about germs, but I can use public lavatories, and shake hands with people etc -it is only about food (and drink, and medicines)... It is more about what else might be (hidden) in the food, mainly bugs (the 6 or 8 legged variety), or other foreign objects (again mainly animal parts/ingredients), and knowing that they're 'safe', or even sterile wouldn't help...
I can't find any information about this fear online, I feel like a complete freak.
k on November 25, 2011:
jsj: it sounds a lot like you have a phobia for germs and you have a problem with meat its not very uncommon just kno ur not alone out there
JSJ on November 25, 2011:
Hi, my phobia is somewhat different, it's not the foods themselves, but fear of 'contaminants', I will only eat fresh, unprocessed fruit, veg and nuts which I have checked thoroughly for insect holes, washed thoroughly, peeled, and prepared myself... I discard anything damaged/ with holes in... Nuts have to be in their shells, completely closed when I
check them, and I only drink
boiled water... I also haven't always been this bad, I used to eat dairy products, grains, pulses, juices, even preprepared foods were ok, just not egg or meat products (I've been strict vegetarian through choice since I was 5)....
I can't eat anything I haven't personally checked and prepared, which is very limiting. I don't know what to do.
k on November 22, 2011:
oh my gosh i can't believe i found this site i was just thinking how i hate mustard and knew there had to be a food phobia. im so thankful and relieved there is other people with the same thing. i have experienced this my whole life. i never knew i had a phobia, i was just always told that i am picky. here are the things i don't like: ketchup,mustard,mayonaise,beef....ill eat pork chops,steaks. but i don't like hamburger. ive been called weird, i have been called picky. i also don't like: beans of any kind, bananas, pears, i will eat watermelon, strawberrys, pineapples. i also don't like cube steaks. i think its just the texture. its so weird. i also don't like eggs. i will eat them in just about anything. but not raw. i also don't like milk plain like drunking it, but i will eat it in cereal. does anyone know what causes this????? that's my main questionnn/
Justine on October 14, 2011:
My 8-yr old daughter is one of you guys. She drives us nuts!!! Although we are very patient and try to make things work for her, I worry about her health. As a baby she ate anything. Then after the age of 2, she started cutting things out of her diet. Now she lives on bread and cheese, or variations thereof such as grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza or pasta and cheese. She is terrified of fruit and vegetables. However, she now drinks `Greens`which is a very expensive supplement you can mix with water or juice. I am thrilled. I know she is not just `picky`, it goes deeper than that. She is doing cognitive behavioral therapy now and has a agreed to do a bravery `ladder` where she will work her way up to having salad on her plate. It is extremely frustrating as a parent, but reading about you all reinforces my beleif that it is not her fault, and she is trying to be naughty. She says that texture is the worst part for her.
Lauren on October 05, 2011:
I've struggled with these same phobias for many years and thought j was alone. I literally grew up eating my bread, chips/other carbs and slowly acquired a taste for pizza/fried chicken. My mom swears i lost my appetite after being in the hospital and being given antibiotics - after that I had a strong food aversion. The looks and judgement from family and friends and fear surrounding eating at social events is definitely the worst. So many times I've just wanted to scream leave me alone I wish I could eat normally!
Gladly I've been able to overcome my aversion in the last 2 years (I'm now 20). I developed a cyst that had to heal from the bottom up and the doctor stressed how nutrition was vital to redeveloping tissue. Not wanting to undergo the pain I started trying to eat healthier - incorporating fruits first and slowly trying veggies and meats.
What helped me was trying things in a comfortable, home setting. I spent months chasing fruit and veggies with water to get them down but now it's much easier. Also, using foods you already like as a basis can really help. Bread and cheese are still staples in my diet that allow me to enjoy new veggies and foods. Melted cheese on anything can help make it a lot more appetizing! I do not eat beef still because it freaks me out but can now enjoy pork and chicken jn a variety of ways. If you like bacon (like I did) try pulled pork at a restaurant (nachos were my first experience- so good) it may open your eyes to how tasty grilled pork can be also.
Recognizing the flavors and textures you enjoy can help a lot and looking to healthier alternatives can lead to more options. - I liked peanut butter, now love almond butter, as well as other nuts. Try drinking protein shakes to make up for not eating meat. Also I hated dips and ate everything plain. Caesar was my first acceptable condiment as it made salad edible (each lead with a crouton) but now I swear by kraft cucumber dressing - it makes any raw veggie edible for me. Yogurt is also a good alternative - Greek yogurt smoothies have a lot of protein and allow you to incorporate fruits and veggies you might not otherwise like the taste of. It took me awhile to get over the 'bacteria' element but yogurt is good for you and trying brands like Activia that are smoother can be just like eating ice cream! Try refrigerated fruits also - cold pineapple and tangerines can be like juice treats.
I used to suck the juice from fruit but spit out the skin because I couldn't bring myself to swallow. Take small steps. Try to educate yourself more about healthy eating - it's really effective in making you try harder to move past your fears. Reading new foods to try can be exciting - avocado is another good veg (? Fruit) for me because it's a lot like butter and can be spread on toast or eaten with chips. Peppers and beans are also new favourites of mine - try to relate them to French fries - they're crispy and go well with ranch! Try to make your meals balanced even if it's through supplements. Slowly it will get easier. Moving from fried chicken to BBQ is also a bit easier - crispy is a definite must!
As for condiments it may be helpful to start reading ingredients and making your own dressings/sauces. If you know what's in it you'll be more likely to eat it. Picking up on flavors you like is helpful here too - garlic or peanut may be palatable at a restaurant if you like it at home.
I now feel confident going to family events and parties and restaurants. I no longer have to worry about eating just a roll or ordering off the kids menu. Its really liberating and I hope that you are all able to overcome this eating aversion as well. remember you don't have to eat everything! Start slowly expanding your diet by trying things that look or sound good to you. It's hard at first, especially in large servings, but I can now eat full servings of salads, veggies, and meats without triggering my gag reflex. Obviously, bread is still #1 in my heart - but making changes today will help you tomorrow. Good luck!
Katie on October 03, 2011:
I'm so glad I found this page! I feel alone in the world at the moment & it's nice knowing that there are other people like me!
I can only eat bread, tomato soup (I hate tomatoes but love tomato soup - only Heinz), pasta with cheese on it (any type of sauce like bolognaise or tomato & I gag), margarita pizza, chicken breast (with gravy, but nothing else... so if somebody is making a roast, I won't have ANYTHING else but chicken on my plate!), boiled potatoes with mint & butter (any other type of potato makes me throw up) & chicken nuggets but they have to be covered in batter because if they are breaded I can't bring myself to eat them.
I hate the taste, smell & texture of meat, won't go near it since I smelt it cooking on a BBQ when I was 7. I hate nuts, most vegetables (like I said, I like potatoes but only when they're boiled, & I can eat maybe one or two bits of sliced carrot before I feel sick), & most fruit (I eat honeydew melon & raspberries, that's it). I can't go out to fast-food places because the smell makes me sick. I can't walk past the fish counter in supermarkets & can smell it even if I'm far away from it. Last time I went to the supermarket I had to go to the toilet & I was sick because I smelt fish. I can't even eat it either, & if somebody eats it I get very cross because the smell hangs around for days afterwards & makes me ill.
I also hate the smell of coffee, that makes me throw up too. It makes me socially isolated in a way - I can't go out to a cafe with friends in case somebody has ordered coffee!
Here's the weird thing though - I'm not underweight. I'm actually overweight, & it comes from all the sweet stuff I eat. I tend to eat foamy sweets a lot of the time, I used to eat chocolate but now I can't even eat that anymore. I've never liked cake or cake bars or anything like that. Most people, when they meet me for the first time, tend to either tell me that I must eat loads or live on Takeaways. Not true, not at all. I eat less than most people but it's all the calories in the food I eat that's the problem, & I hate Takeaways. I hate Indian & Chinese & anything with a bit of spice in, so it's not like I'm eating fattening Takeaways every day of my life, is it? I don't touch them... =[
I'm 22 this month & I've been like this since I was 4. My mum said that when I was younger I used to eat very well, & then I stopped eating & started restricting my diet. I guess my food phobia wasn't helped by the fact that, at school, you had to sit in the lunchroom until you'd eaten EVERYTHING on your plate & you weren't allowed to leave if you hadn't. I remember crying & screaming & pulling handfuls of hair out at mealtimes at school.
When I was 18 I developed Bulimia... basically I ate carbs all day, all the time, & threw up afterwards by choice.
I'm a complicated girl.
Christina Marsh on September 27, 2011:
Im 22 and i hardly eat any healthy foods at all. I have a phobia of sauce. I wont have any. For example if a restaurant were to put sauce in a burger by accident i will not eat it i have to have a new burger. I don't eat salad only cuecumber and tomato but i wont choose to eat them. I don't like fish, cream, stirfrys, rice, sweetcorn, seafood, chinese, indian, i hate gravy on roast dinners. I will only eat carrots on a roast. I have all my food plain. This irritates me as my partner eats everything and its difficult to go out for dinner without arguing lol. I wonder if there is anyone i can speak to for help so i can try new things and not be afraid of it. I look at a certain food and wont eat and say, " i know i wont like it " if anyone reads this please email me. firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know if u can help. thank you.
Thea Childs on September 18, 2011:
Why would anyone want to be cured? I will only eat 29 things - not 29 like all beef or all vegetables but 29 like meatballs or white bread. It causes problems for others who constantly bug me about it but has never caused problems to me. If I believed in reicarnation I would say I must have been poisoned in my last life.
Bel on September 14, 2011:
After reading everyone's comments i am releaved to know there are other people out there like me. i mainly eat hot chips and potato chips, cakes or biscuits. i will eat crackers and onlya certain brand of cheese. No fruit or vegies other than green apples and potato. i saw a hypnotherapist for 6 months and got very little results.I am 28 yrs old and basically i believe this is it for me and it will never change. I have no idea how to over come this and i want help and want to change but can't.i don't want to be like this for the rest of my life. i get very embarrassed in social situations, comments get made to me at work with friends and family. Apprently i should eat more salads and vegies!! I woulod love to but can't even bring myself to put it on my plate. i love the smmell of other foods but cannot bring myself to even try them.
Micah on September 05, 2011:
Is it normal when you have a fear of chicken but I love eating chicken? Is it really a phobia? THANK YOU..
Dirk on September 04, 2011:
I am now 36 years old.....didn't know there was a name for my phobia until today.... I've never ate red meat in my life, hot dogs, and countless other items. I've always ate chicken and fish though. Other than those two items I can tell you the exact age I was when I tried anything else. I never had Mac & Cheese, mayo, or ketchup until I was 18. The phobia doesn't bother me as this is what I'm use to. As time goes on I find myself giving certain things a chance. I will however never eat red meat. Sometimes it smells really good but I never want to taste it. I sincerely believe that a lot of my fears stems from my parents trying to force feed me when I was very young. But the phobia probably also kept me from trying other things such as drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol. Nowadays I will have a glass of alcohol on occasion but never enjoy the taste of any of it. Just thougt I would share. Thanks!
caitlin on August 07, 2011:
im glad i found this page. i thought i was the only person like this though im relieved to find im not. im 15 and hardly eat any foods. all i eat is pasta with cheese on it, cereals, bananas and anything like crisps, chocolate and sweets and stuff. i don't eat any meat or any vegetables or hardly any fruit. my mum was so worried shes been taking me to the doctors every week and i had blood tests done but i am completely healthy that way. the doctor doesn't understand how bad it is. i want to be able to eat things but when i go to try things i can hardly put it in my mouth. the doctor says i just have to try things but when she suggested i try whatever my parents were having for dinner every night for a week i started crying. i don't even know why but the idea just freaked me out.
i hope someday i will get this fixed although i think it may take a while. it would be great if i could even eat half the things my friends do.
also my friends are used to the way i eat but i think it will start to hinder me as i get older. people are more used to children not eating well and being picky, but im getting older now and its getting embarrassing when i go out with my friends and can't eat anything they can.
i hope all you guys learn how to eat different foods again soon. thanks for helping me realise im not the only one out there with this particular problem.
Zoe on May 29, 2011:
I can't believe how many people are so similar to me with this!I am 22 and have been suffering this since birth! I also have a food phobia...of sauces. any kind at all, i wont even have gravy on a roast! if someone eats it in front of me or next to me i have to move away cause it makes me flinch back incase any touches me. also i can't eat vegetables with a skin on them e.g peppers, onions corjets ect because they make me gag. its ruining my life..i have a new boyfriend and went to his mums for dinner (goats cheese and roasted vegetables) i thought i could handle it but it was all the veg i can't stand! i had to gulp mouthfulls down with wine and when that ran out i gagged so couldn't eat anymore :( i really tried as well but no luck. this is really affecting my life ad relationship! im going to the doctors in the next week for help and if i have any luck i will post back!
Lee Levy on March 29, 2011:
Oh my god, I cried when I read this. My daughter is 10 years old and she was BORN this way. She used to throw up her formula, no matter what brand. And since she could eat solids, this is her entire diet: Breakfast bards, only 3 kinds if cereal, bread (only one kind of brand) chicken nuggets (only Tyson), yougurt (only Yoplait), peanut butter and jelly, strawberries, grapes, bagel and cream cheese, and that's it! Oh yeah and pizza (no sauce). And god help you if you change her brand. For years I thought she was just a "picky eater", doctors told me to force feed her, but NOTHING works! Punishment and persuasion didn't help. She is afraid of gagging and throwing up, which has happened many times. She HATES the smell of anything being cooked in the kitchen, and she has an ABSOLUTE FEAR of touching potato chips, especially cheetos or doritos. I have tried 4 different types of psychologists, all they tell me is that she is "controlling me". I think they don't take me seriously. She cries all the time saying she's not normal and it hurst me, I don't know what else to do, I am so angry and frustrated over the situation!
elly on March 11, 2011:
Antony, i am exactly the same, to a tee! i have the greatest fear of getting sick from eating that my diet is now salad,potatoes,bread,vegies. but, only if i have made it. i have only had this for about 6 months and it took a while to figure out what was wrong with me. Its a phobia that has come about from other issues in my life. i think it has started off with depresion of not dealing with a few bad things that has gone on in my life over the past few years, its been a rough ride for a while. and i think this is were it has started, and then evolved to a food phobia. my boyfried got sick from fish & chips 6 months ago and that's when it all started. i now can't eat anything that i think could make me sick, or i think hasn't been stored at the right temperature, etc.people also go home feeling sick at work, and then i get woried that i am going to catch it and get sick. then i can't stop thinking about it. so i think my fear is just of getting sick. you need to be as supportive as you can. it doesn't matter how many times you prove to your wife that the food you ate didn't make you sick, it will only get her mad. i know as i do it to. i feel like an idiot the next day after my boyfriend ate McDonalds or something and i say to myself, i could have eaten that as well cos he didn't get sick. but i still can't bring myself to eat it.i have no idea how to fix this in my head, as i have only just diagnosed my self to have an eating phobia. the way i see it at the moment is, if i avoid the anxiety, i feel good. so i avoid the food, and i feel good. i have also lost 12kg's in 6 months. so that's a positive i supose.
antony uk on March 10, 2011:
hi eveyone i don't know how to help my wife shes 23 and im 26, for the last 3 and half years since shes had food poisoning she has got this phobia of food, right its complicated, she wont eat anything and i mean anything that looks funny even if its days or weeks in date, she dosent like me or the kids eating out she don't like it either coz she will then clock watch for gen 4/6hrs waiting for us to start being sick coz she thinks that when ever we eat or she eats it gonna make us or her sick now ive proved her wrong tones of times but even the slightest thing wrong will set her off we live in the uk and docs seem to be useless and call her anerexic which makes me angry coz i know full fact when she dose eat sumthing she feels safe with then she eats like a horse! its driving me mad coz its got to the stage were i don't know what to do and when i say i don't know she goese mental or if i say nothing she goes mental and has a go for not supporting her. so please sum1 help her and me as this i will end up splitting us if this don't get sorted and that's the last thing i want. we live in manchester area uk and don't know were to start. please feel free to email me plz. email@example.com
Julia on March 04, 2011:
I have the same issue as everyone else here. It pretty much started when I was around 3 years old, I guess I picked up the habit of being 'afraid of foods', and continued to grow up that way. I can't exactly recall, but I don't believe my parents ever tried to force me to eat other things, and if they did, it was unsuccessful. My diet basically consists of bread (only wheat or white), yogurt, strawberries, bananas, pizza, cereal, carrots, potatoes, and snacks.
Occasionally, my mom will try to get me to try a piece of broccoli or something basic like that. I sit down at the table and just start breaking down. At first, I'll start shaking and getting nervous and then I will just begin to cry. At that point, my parents give up. It's pretty much the same way for every food. No one understands like it doesn't matter WHAT I have to try, no matter hoe obscure or how basic, I still have the same reaction.
It scares me sometimes and I feel like I'll never be able to get over it, and my parents don't think it's a real fear or something that could be treated so I'm a little bit confused as to what I should do.
clo on February 22, 2011:
I have a phobia of fruit,vomiting and getting ill
meg on February 10, 2011:
I have always had a phobia of all condiments and sauces, excluding honey and cheese sauce. Does anyone know what this is called?
Ash on January 05, 2011:
I have a fruit phobia. Yes, fruit. The closest I have ever gotten to eating fruit was licking the outside of an apple when I was 5 years old, then throwing the thing away.
I haven't any idea what has started this fear of "nature's candy" - it's always been this way. I have wished I could possibly bring myself to eat it. I simply can not.
Seeing others consume fruit is absolutely repulsive to me. Even the names disgust/freak me out. Only within the past year have I been able to semi-comfortably say the word "fruit" out loud.
There are no names that I have come upon for this phobia, is there ANYONE who might share this same fear? I've heard of people who hated fruit as children and got over it, or simply don't like most fruits...but that's just not the same.
CheriAnn on January 04, 2011:
I first read this several months ago with my boyfriend by my side. He loves all kinds of foods and wanted to eat something different every day. There are so many things that I don't like to eat and am afraid to even try, it was very discouraging for him.
He loved to cook, but felt his skills were rendered useless around me. He didn't mind doing most of the cooking, but wanted me to cook for him at least once in a while, but my lack of menu choices meant the same old plain things time after time.
Of course I wish I could eat like most people, but it's been this way for me for so long (age 50 now) it's the way I am. Once he said he wished he could put my finger in a light socket and reprogram me to eat better.
My kids are probably just as bad of eaters as I am, which I'm sure is my fault. And although to me it seemed like he was an extreme eater, I've lost a really great guy because of my terrible eating habits and phobias to so many types of food. Although it was encouraging to know there are others experiencing the same issues and that I'm not alone in this, I wish all of us could find a way to get over it. I'm going to get Richard Bandler's book on NLP called "Get The Life You Want" and hope I can overcome this. Best of luck to all of us!
Cat on January 04, 2011:
I will not go into what I do and do not eat on here as I like the rest of you would not have alot to list in the DO eat category..
I have been trying to fix this for years and like everyone on here am struggling!
If anyone knows ways to fix this let me know..
schmu33 on November 25, 2010:
i thought i had thee most severe case of this in the world ! i actually know two other ppl that i went to school with that are like me , but they would at least eat plain cheese burgers and what not . all i eat is chicken nuggets and french fries , toast , bacon , chips , chocolate cake , cereal (no milk) , cookies , well that's pretty much it i geuss . i can't even stand the smell of any condiments . i try to explain it to ppl as thinking of a food that they think is the most disgusting thing in the world that they wouldn't try if someone put a gun to their head , and that's how i feel about every kind of food . the hardest thing for me is social events . it enevitable that the second the waitor gets to me , someone im with will say " hmmm i wonder what brandon is going to get " it never fails . i try to understand it in my head that there has to be some reason im like this ! maybe im some kind of new superhuman that doesn't need all the normal nutrients that those less superior bodies need , or that in the near future all food will be tainted except for chicken or something . its been a tough go , im 27 now and see no signs of change . my little girl is almost 6 and i see the same patterns developing in her , although she does at least like pizza and toquitos and macaroni . its hard though cause her mother and i split up 3 years ago and i don't have the slightest idea how to even make any food and i feel like its hurting her now. and my phobia isn't limited to food , i can't drink milk or apple juice , orange juice maybe once in a while , if im in the right mood . i wont eat ketchup chips , but ill try any other kind of chips witch i find kinda funny . i hate how everyone gets so excited about thanksgiving , i have grown to HATE it . my family understands , or at least are used to it now , but i still feel like a tool when im sitting there and they have all this food on their plates and i have a plate of chicken strips and fries . which i don't even like because they weren't prepared right ! i love that there are other people out there like this , actually im pretty pumped about it . ive tried looking up info on it in the past but ive never quite been able to word it right so i came up short . glad i found this though . that's a great list too , kinda funny how they have names for phobias of all those foods but not for all of them together
Shannon on October 22, 2010:
I have a phobia of eating fish because I got food poisoning really bad while in Jamaica and fell DEATHLY ill. If I hadn't gotten better, I would have had to go to the hospital. It completely wiped me out :/. It seems weird to have a fish phobia, and I will not eat fish unless I am thoroughly convinced that it has been well cooked, not undercooked or overcooked or out in the sun. But I love salmon and tilapia. I eat crab legs too, so I guess my phobia isn't AS bad.
Smiley:) on October 09, 2010:
i heard of a phobia of undercooked tater tots. believe it or not a LOT of kids at school have this fear. it's a bit funny sometimes, when they're checking the tots to see if any parts are still frozen, but i feel bad for them. got any advice?
harrietgillard on September 30, 2010:
Id thought id leave you with some hope.
2 years ago I was an extreme food phobic (im 24 now)
I had been this way since i was 4, my parents tried the "hungry and they will eat anything technique" but i didn't eat anything for 5 days supposedly!
So I grew up on a few things, juice, pizza, toast and jacket potatoes and butter. yes that is it!!
What changed? Well one day i just had enough of all the stupid excuses, missing out on social activities etc, that I started to think. "Hey, this food must taste good otherwise they wouldn't have a market to sell it" Now I just repeated that to myself 5 times, before i had a bite. and amazingly the phobia of gagging, puking went away.
So 2 years on I actually eat everything apart from unprocessed fish, which still makes me puke for some bizarre reason, but i will keep trying.
A Plan for any sufferers:
work out exactly what you already eat
in those things you eat, is there anything you wont eat on its own? ie cake, but not eggs, butter.
try these ingredients in a different variation, ie sponge cake ---> pancakes
slowly you will build up different items you can eat.
I highly recommend you take a menu from a good restaurant and work through the menu, (they usually will list ingredients) Identify what you can eat, and what you can't.
Now using the ingredients identify similar foods to ones you can eat.
that's the easy part over, now you must try this food item.
taste just a little bit at first, it may help if you mix it with the food you can eat.
how did you feel? ok? take a little bit more still mixed.
finally try it on its own? does it taste good, ok??
just keep saying to yourself, "Hey, this food must taste good otherwise they wouldn't have a market to sell it"
Good luck. need any more help please email me
EFTcuresPhobias on September 02, 2010:
That is a great guide, it must be terrible to have a phobia of food! How are you even meant to eat???
madclown31 on August 31, 2010:
does anyone know what the fear of salad dressing is? i go to a date or restraunt and i eat my salad dressing plain or with lemon juice. the thought of salad dressing just makes me want to hurl. i don't know why but the thought of it is just appaling to me. if anyone knows about the name of this phobia or anything about it, it would be much appreciated, thank you.
coin on August 28, 2010:
I am nearly 50 years old and have suffered with this disorder all my life and have only just found out i am not alone thank goodness it makes me feel a hole lot better about myself. it is a teribble thing to suffer in silence and consider yourself a freak, the fear i experience when i have to eat out is terrible i just want to run and hide. this whole terrible disorder has completely isolated me from every social event and has almost turned me agrophobic i don't want to go anywhere anymore and feel that if i don't change my ways i will die an early death through noting more than lack of nutrition my body is begining to shut down on me i suffer terrible depression and anxiety i panick at the thought of having to go anywhere that involves eating. i need help and don't know where to look for it somebody please help me overcome this problem before i go stark raving mad!!. My body needs narishment i know that, but can't seem to over come the absolute fear that i have of something as simple as eating, is there any one that can help me i would sure like to hear from you. One thing i do feel a whole lot better knowing i am not alone in this and feel nothing but simpathy for anyone else who suffers with this disorder and hope that they can find help thank god for the internet.
joe on July 21, 2010:
we need to keep this thread alive, everyone post results of any kind of success. Recently ive had a breakthrough sort of. I found out that peanuts are great tasting and very healthy. Grace, please keep us updated on any progress and well do the same with yours, if your son does well I will definitely try the hypno path. I had some appointments last year but the doctor was an ***hole and just flat out rude. This has been a wonderful help to me and I hope that it is as comforting to you as it is to me to know that we are not alone in this. Wishing all the best to all,
M.E. on July 20, 2010:
I think I have a fear of green beans (or peas), but it is different. If I eat one I start crying. I'm not sure it's considered a phobia or anything. I know one day I'll get over it (because I always do, I'm a tough kind of person actually. I keep on going, not stopping. I recently became able to eat pea-crackers), but I want to know if there is a name for that sort of phobia. Does anyone know if there is a name for it? Or am i the only one. :-(
chole on July 12, 2010:
My almost 3 year old stoped eating when it was time to introduce solid foods. By six months I used to make chicken or beef soup and put all kinds of vegetables(carrots, potatoes, squash, green plantains etc( and then puree it, and that was his lunch and dinner, whenever i offered him something else he would reject it but I was not worried since I knew he was receving his proteins and vitamins. One day he stoped eating his puree, he does not eat anything else other than plain white rice and fries and milk. No fruits at all, he takes two sips of orange juice, a saltine cracker or two,and a spoon of chocolate ice cream. I am past desperate! My husband blames me, my mother too, they think it's my fault and I simply do not know what to do. I cry, I pray, I have fallen into depression over this. His doctor says he will not starve himself; he will eat...but I have even had the courage to have a blood test to check hemoglobin etc because I know he is deficcient. Sometimes I simply want to die! I am devoting my life to the upbring of my kids and I feel I am failing cause I can't get my son to eat. There are days when he will only drink milk. I have bought all kinds of multi vitamins, soft, hard, and he will not eat it. My mom has forced him and he gags and cries until it is out of his mouth. I feel the doctor does not "hear" me of feels my pain, then again, what can she do? I was kind of releived (as I read the comments ) to learn that there are adults dealing with these issues, it means to me that my baby could make it to adulthood and try to seek help his own since his mother could not do it. I am worn out! Today is one of those days when I want to vanish. :(
Sarahjw49 on July 12, 2010:
I have two sons, now teenagers, 13 and 15. My older son has always had food issues. Once he was the one in contol of what he ate (when he was feeding himself instead of being spoon fed) he began restricting the foods he would eat, or even try. Bread and toast with marmite and fromage frais was about it from age 2 till 5. I spoke to the doctor, the health visitor and even a child psycho;ogist, but they all said he seemed healthy enough and when he he started school he would want to eat like his friends. He then discovered Mc Donalds, so that was added to the two foods until he was 7 and discovered Margarita Pizza. That made four things and remained the extent of his diet until he was about twelve, when suddenly he would accept things like pepperoni, and the odd spinach leaf on his pizza and very recently he stretched to chicken kebabs with salad and chicken korma which was something of a surprise! My yonger son was always less anxious about food but because he saw his brother eating only what he liked, he chose to do the same. He ate more of the normal kids stuff though, like fish fingers and chicken nuggets and would eat cheese in any form (Macaroni cheese, cheese filled potatoes and cheese on toast etc. etc. He has now suddenly started restricting his food too. He has a stomach bug recently and now thinks all the things he used to eat are going to make him sick. He now only eats bread, brad sticks and thin, lean ham. He consumes less than 1000 cals a day and is losing weight at an alarming weight. I am very concerned this could turn into a serious eating disorder, or should I relax as I did with my older one, and assume he will eat again when he's ready.
Rachel on July 05, 2010:
I'm curious about if there is a fear of eating in front of others, or a fear of different textures. Those are my two biggest fears when it comes to food, opposed to my fears of food in general, and gaining weight, and my fear of my stomach exploding from eating too much.
Faith on June 22, 2010:
Liz, I have the same fears about having food allergies and now I am afraid to eat pretty much anything other than crackers. My health is really starting to suffer. If you get this message, please contact me at http://www.anxietytribe.com/Faith, so we can compare notes.
P.S. I am a 33 year old mother of one in the Utah area.
Ulrik on June 21, 2010:
Amazing, I finally found someone like me!
My world is simple. I only eat bread as real food and have done so since I was 3. No fruit, veggies, meat, fish. Just bread. Any kinf of bread though, I aint picky ;)
It has been going on for 33 years now and I am not suffering from any diseases or anything. I am physically really fit and work out 4-5 times a week.
I eat some candy/chips but not anymore than the ordinary person. My phobia is not about the taste. It is definitely about the texture and feeling to put it in the mouth. I usually try and compare it to someone waking up in a world where everyone eats dogpoo and then tells you, you should try it coz it is yummy. Not that I regard food as repulsive, I have just my whole life regarded what normal people eat as non food. Simply very uneadible and it would be equally hard for me to eat a meatball as it would be for someone "normal" to eat a dogpoo.
I wonder if anything will ever be able to cure me. I might try hypno or cognitive therapy, but I feel that even though it is not dangerous to eat normal stuff, the yuckiness of putting it in my mouth is still going to remain and thus leave me with an everyday life where I have to eat groce stuff.
Grace: Don't despair. I have no signs of illness og issues related to my disorder (and im pretty one type of food), other than social discomfort and issues with other peoples acceptance. I am a normal functioning IT consultant with a normal job and a cute girlfriend. But the eating will become an issue once I have kids myslef.
I will follow this thread.
PS: Did any of hyour parents fight over the dinner table constantly, coz mine did when I was a kid and I have a sneaky suspicion that is why i relate eating new stuff with something very uncomfortable...
Sam on June 18, 2010:
Im fourteen and have the same problem. I just receently became a vegetarian a year and a half ago. Although, Im much younger. I wish all of you the best of luck.
Grace on June 01, 2010:
Jack has had his first hypnotherapy session. We go back today for a second. I definatly see some improvements. He ate Special K cereal for the first time ever which would have been a huge panic attack. He also has had bites of other things for a first. His taste buds are trying to adjust and he says the food isn't horrible. He will not eat it all, just a few bites. That is a huge improvement. I'll post our results after our second session.
Howie on May 25, 2010:
Like another commenter, I cried while reading these posts. I feel like I have been 'suffering' nearly my entire life with this phobia and haven't been able to find help anywhere.
Even after seeing doctors the response is generally - "just try it". I am 26 now. I am 5'2 and weigh about 130lbs. Most would not consider this unhealthy. But it really is the social aspect that is so troubling to me. Also, i'd like to have children someday and I know I could not sustain a pregnancy on my current diet.
My mother tells me that she had great success getting me to try new foods as a toddler until my kindergarten teached explained where meat came from at the age of 5. At that moment I decided to be a 'vegetarian' and have been ever since. The reason I put it into quotations is because I the only meat I will eat is bacon and I haven't tried many vegetables. It is probably easier for me to explain what I DO eat as opposed to what I don't:
Bacon, corn, potatoes, raw carrots, apples, oranges, grapes, pears. Otherwise, I eat a lot of processed foods and foods that come prepackaged.
It seems that this phobia or eating disorder has come to define me. A lot of my friends take great pleasure in joking about how cheeze pizza and french fries are staples in my diet. I want to put a stop to this NOW. But am not sure where to go for help (Ontario, Canada).
philippa on May 24, 2010:
I'm a bit different from many of you because I'm overweight.
I've never really though about what I have as a phobia until recently (Im 22), Ive been a "fussy eater" since i was bout 4.
I basically live on carbs, meat and sugar. I can sometimes eat new things but have to really want to force myself. I have really hard time with some textures and tastes. especially veg. i swallow peas with water, i can force myself to take a couple of bites of carrots but that's about my limit. the one that freaks me out the most in broccoli. i have an issue with bits - like orange juice with bits makes me gag. i can't drink smooties. and though i often like the taste of rice after a couple of fork fulls i cannot physically swallow it, as it makes me gag. i can eat peppers or chilis on pizza but only little bits and i can't stand the crunching feeling. there is no way i could even try any salad.
it would make my life so much easier if i could eat these things. my mum is thinking of sending me to a hypnotist, but im not sure if it will work as im not sure i want it too.
i can't even bring myself to want to like them.
Jane on May 21, 2010:
My son is 14 and when he turned 18 mos. started to show signs of rejecting food that he once liked. My age 3 he had self restricted himself to 3 or 4 foods. I kept telling the pediatrician and he kept saying "when he's hungry, he'll eat". Well he didn't. One time, he refused to eat anything I presented for 3 days, and then started dry heaving. I knew then, the doctors had no idea what I was dealing with. I sought help from Cincinnati Children's Hospital. They put him through a multi factored evaluation and said he had autism. They took back the diagnosis 1 year later. They had a feeding clinic there for person's who had feeding tubes, etc. The psychologist said to me, "He's normal height and just a little underweight. What do you want?" No one would listen me. Inside my heart was screaming, there is something wrong! He has been to 2 different psychologists and has been on anti-anxiety medication for quite a while. They don't work, but they do take an "edge" off the anxiety itself. He only eats cheese pizza (certain kinds), fast food fries with or without ketchup, dry cereal, cinnamon toast, chocolate chip pop tarts, chips, popcorn, pretzel rods, and Cheeto's. I worry about him and want to help him so much. The social issue is so tough and kids make fun of him. He is diagnosed as OCD. His psychologist says that it is up to him to want to change, and until then, he won't, but will support him in his decisions to live with it or change. I have told him I will love him no matter what he eats. I always felt it was my fault and finding these posts helps so much. I see there is a definite problem that our doctors are not addressing and don't probable know about. Love the suggestions. Don't define yourselves by what you eat or don't eat. You are wonderful just as you are!
Grace on May 20, 2010:
I have just booked an appt. for my son with a Hypnotherapist. She says she can definatly help him. I'll post our results.
Grace on May 19, 2010:
My son is 9. He has had an eating phobia all of his life- I just didn't know it. He has never eaten a veggie in his life or fruits other than applesauce. He has eaten peanut butter and jelly everyday of his life and Chicken nuggets every night. He eats mainly carbohidrates. He has chicken nuggets (only from a certain box) At a young age, we thought it was picky eating and stubborness. He would almost hyperventalate and continually say "I can't, i want to , but I can't" with hystarical tears. Over the past couple of years, that has stayed consistent but added that he is afraid. I know in my heart that it is not a power struggle. When it gets so bad that you put a brownie sunday (which he will eat) and a piece of watermelon or hamburger, hot dog, cheese, ...... the list goes on and say "just one bite and you can have it all" and he can't do it, you know there is an issue. We gave up for a year and tonight tried with baked chicken and all of the emotions came flooding back. I came on the internet and found this site. I am so relieved to find that we are not alone. When I read some of the stories to Jack, he started to cry. "I'm sorry Mom"
Has anything worked for anyone??? He passes on sleepovers and won't go out to dinner. I don't want to blink and have him turning 21 and still having the same fears. He likes the idea of a Hypmotist.
ali oop. #945 on May 10, 2010:
I don't have any food phobias. I looooooove trying new foods- except I do have althaiphobia, the fear od (this is crazy, but it's true) marshmallowws. At camps and stuff, so annoying because I hate it wwhen we have bonfire cooking- marshmallows always first! :(
Sarah on May 03, 2010:
anyone know what the fear of rice is called?
Matt on April 28, 2010:
Wow, this is really a relief as other people have said...I'm 20 years old and have an extreme phobia of trying new foods, normally all I eat is chicken, peanutbutter crackers, french fries/potato chips,cookies, certain breads, donuts, onion rings, hot dogs, and spegetti, none of these with any type of saucse on it. I have tried maybe 5 other things that I can remember. I don't even like pizza which drives everyone else crazy. It just makes eating with other people stressful. I never thought other people really suffered from this, so I might ask my psychiatrist (I go for insomnia now) about this phobia next time I'm in.
foxlypants on April 23, 2010:
First of all, I love love love spicy foods and all different kinds of cuisine. My favourites being Indian, Korean, Latin, Jewish, etc. But, I cannot bring myself to eat any food that has the texture of baby food or any sort of condiments. Eggs and cheese creep the hell out of me. I can't look at them or smell them. I can bake with eggs and eat raw batter, but I absolutely hate eggs, cheese, mayo, any sort of white food that lacks flavor with the exception of white rice or fish. I also don't like mushy vegetables, I prefer vegetables to always be crisp. So cooked vegetables like onions, peppers, spinach, okra, don't sit well with me. I also don't like food that's overcooked. Chicken makes me a bit apprehensive, because you risk biting into veins or something awful like that. Back to fear of food having a lack of flavour or being white, I often tend to make my food so spicy that my stomach feels slightly on fire, but for some reason I like the feeling. Anyway, I was wondering if there is anyone else who has a supreme fear of white foods or is afraid of the lack of flavour in food?
Chelsea on March 05, 2010:
I cannot tell you my relief at finding this page i truly thought i was just abnormal! i have such a phobia of trying new food and the most stupidest thing is i can't even tell you why! i no that some textures of food actually make me want to be sick when i put them in my mouth like onions! i have a very limited diet which basically consists of pizza chips and pasta iv only recently tried meat but i can only really stomach chicken iv also tried cod but can only eat very small portions as i find the taste overpowering! like many of you im sick of having limited places to go to eat, sick of making excuses like im not hungary when in actual fact im starving! id love to get help for this phobia as i truly believes its ruining my life and making me feel extremely depressed! has anyone tried hypnothearapy?? id love to try it but don't want to waste time if there are no results!
Carla on February 24, 2010:
That is so funny, I cannot eat anything from the grill either, the texture feels odd on my palete, people think I am weird because I scrape off the stripes on both sides to eat anything off the grill.
Stacey on February 23, 2010:
My fear is stripey food, anything char grilled with strips on it, it tastes funny any ideas?
Pam on February 23, 2010:
I have the same fear as marina nieta. I will not touch or eat anything that is a white sauce or creamy. No mayo, yogurt, cheese dip, ranch, onion dip, sour cream, ect... . The thought of it makes me ill. The smell of mayo makes me sick. I will not eat anything that I suspect might have mayo! When Eating other peoples food I have to make sure of the ingredients before I will eat. I have never drank white milk, when I went to school my grandmother sent chocolate powder for me to mix in my milk, we didn't have the option of chocolate milk back then. I still have to put hersheys in my milk to this day if I am going to drink milk.
I also will not eat fat. When I eat meat I examine every bite to make sure there is no fat in the food I'm about to put in my mouth and it has to be well done. I drive my husband crazy. Most of the time I eat chicken but only the breast and even then I make sure there is no fat on it.
Liz on February 23, 2010:
I don't eat certain foods as I am fearful of an allergic reaction. I have never had one to food, however my anxiety has gotten so bad I don't eat a lot of food that is good for me. It's an overwhelming and bizarre form of fear.
marina nieta on February 16, 2010:
i too have some food phobias.
the first and more apparent is my fear of white food. yes, ANY white food. this has been since i was a child, i never drank milk as a baby and vomited if i was made to do so. the same with mayo and eggs. as i got older i became more restricted and eventually expelled all white food. i can hardly touch them or even look at them. i believe if someone go too close to me with an egg or milk i would vomit uncontrollably. i hate the smell, the look, the way people eat it, just everything. now i have gotten used to some white foods and can handle white rice, mozzarella cheese, and a few other things. however there are main ones in my phobia that i could never even imagine trying, for it induces a panic attack.
the worst is like i said milk, soy milk, eggs, gorgonzola cheese, blue cheese, mayo, ranch dressing, alfredo sauce, white chocolate, all white dips, white meat, marshmallow bars, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, cream pies, cream cheese, cheesecake....god the list goes on
also i can not have anything that is a different color but contains milk in it- for instance, lattes, hot chocolate, cappuccinos, milkshakes, smoothies and so on.
i was wondering, does anyone know the exact term for this? i have had people mention it to me here and there but i never find the word for it.
aside from that situation, i have other phobias as well. i fear meat and seafood, haven't touched it in years. anything that is very creamy, thick, saucy, and white obviously. i don't ever want to try new food especially if it is being asked of me... i don't understand people who can just go anywhere and get anything and not care. for me i have to take a lot of time thinking about it, making sure this is the right thing, and so on.
Whitney on February 06, 2010:
I'm so glad I'm not alone! I'm 25 and my sister is 23 and we are both picky eaters. People that don't have this, don't get it. My parents fed me everything when I was younger. I think what happened was I (like every other kid) said I didn't like something and they didn't feed it to me again therefore I didn't develop the taste for it. I do not like to try new foods unless they're related to foods I already like. I find it interesting that most of us really like carbs. I LOVE cabrs! I'll try almost any kind bread, raw veggie or fruit since I love those but since I dislike most cheeses I don't touch things with cheese. My parents and grandparents tried to get me to try new foods but I literally gag when I put cooked veggies onto my tongue. I have a heightened sense of taste. My parents don't understand that all I need is a microscopic piece of food and I can taste it. People don't understand that when I say I like chicken I mean I like only chicken. Not chicken with stuff inside or sauce on it. Just plain chicken. I wish I liked more food but I don't like any type of sauce, condiment or dressing so I will not try any food that has that in it or touched that because I'll be able to taste it. I can't stand cheese if it's not super cold. I can put it on pizza as long as there isn't a ton of cheese and is on thin crust (I ONLY eat thin crust pizza with cheese and tomatoes... nothing else on it. I CAN eat plain cheese with sauce but I will not if I don't have to). I would try therapy but I'm pretty sure I'm too stubborn for it to work. haha Oh and it's really funny whenever I order a salad and say no dressing and the people look at me funny. I use tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, onions, cheese, etc as dressing.
KathyM2 on January 25, 2010:
My daughter is 28 and has Down Syndrome. She was always a "picky" eater, only ate certain foods (mostly carbs) such as cereal, pizza, hamburger (never finished the meat, only the roll), fries, pasta, etc. Fresh fruit was the only saving grace (bananas, oranges, apples, melons.) Three and 1/2 yrs. ago she stopped eating solids altogether. All medical tests were negative for any physical and/or medical problem (endoscopy showed minor GERD; repeated excellent blood work-ups; tests were always negative for possible medical diagnoseses. She now only takes a nutritional drink 3x a day (only chocolate-based), and will drink juice once a day with 2 Yoo Hoos. Her OCD is getting out of control, and she gets upset even when she smells food cooking or anything being toasted. I never connected her prior eating habits to her current eating problem until reading these entries. I always thought she loved to eat, just limited items. But it's possible she always had a fear (she tended to eat too fast and hard swallowing!)
kazzie1986 on January 24, 2010:
i don't know if i have a phobia or just bad eating habits i can't eat food in front of people i'm no comfortable with some people i've worked with over 4 yrs now & still can't eat in front of them i'm very fussy but every few months there is another food from my limited list that i will just stop eating & not touch again & if i'm ill i can't swallow anything (including soup)but liquids what do others think?
Ellen on January 20, 2010:
Is there a fear of Jello?
Melanie Munn on January 11, 2010:
I'm with Jenny. I wonder if there is a name for the phobia of ordering food from restaurants. There have been so many stories about our food chain being tainted it makes one want to eat only food made from home.
jane on January 07, 2010:
jenny- how can i find a psychologist who can proberly help me deal with and overcome my food phobias?
jacky on December 22, 2009:
i have the same question as jenny...
i can't figure out what the name of the fear of ordering food is
Jenny on December 13, 2009:
what is it called when you have the fear of ordering food from resteraunts/fast food places?
jenny on December 02, 2009:
I have treated people with food phobias, one person kept no food at all in the house when we started treatment and now she has people over for a meal and can eat out. it is something that CAN be fixed if you get a good therapist who will work with you over the long term ( 1-2 years) and will actually eat with you in sessions, and meet at places outside the office to eat with you (exposure therapy) that how I do it, we create a hierarchy of phobias to work on. Also it is very important to understand that anxiety actually dries up your mouth and create a feeling on difficulty swallowing (globus) so many people with food phobias also feel that are going to choke, due to the anxiety. Find a good psychologist to work with, as treating phobias is VERY specific and if done incorrectly actually makes the phobia worse.
teresa on November 15, 2009:
OMG!!!! I thought I was the only one. I am 43 years old and have never tasted katsup, mayo, mustard, chicken, pasta, fish, homemade bread, jelly, coffee, dressing, tomato, most veggies, a cheeseburger, onion, soup, stew, rice, any kind of pie, turkey, all but total cereal, mexican food, chinese food, italian food, any kind of berry, the list goes on and on...
I am so tired of making big wonderful meals (everyone says I am a fantastic cook) and then eating a corndog or chips for my meal. I can't go to dinner parties--it is crippling!!! People say--just eat it but I just can't. I finally tried lemonaid, koolwhip and cantalope about 2 years ago and love them!!! now, I can't remember what made me try them in the first place!! any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!
Crystal on November 02, 2009:
Sorry i meant 14 years old. oops.
Crystal on November 02, 2009:
Im 13 years old and i have read these comments and im stunned. I never knew or heard of this fear. I hope you can all solve this soon. xo.
Dany on October 20, 2009:
This is an issue my mother has and she passed it on to my brother and I. If you are a parent, I really suggest that you get your kids to try new things when they are really young. I think it's fine if they don't like it so long as they try. Maybe have them explain what they don't like about it, is it sour? Too hot? Too spicy? Etc! The few things my mom made me eat that she did not eat are things that I still like to this day.
I'm 30 years old and have been slowly trying to taste new things and I am slowly getting there but I have a really hard time with condiments or sauces. If something smells sour, there's about no chance of me tasting it.
What I can suggest is to try to find a type of food that you like and can eat, and try to expand on that with something similar. I realized for example that I could taste any vegetables or fruits, cereals and a bunch of "dry" things. Maybe that was helped in part because when I was in grade school, we had a tasting of cereals and different vegetables. Slowly, I'm also able to drink new type of juice and the more I try new juices, the more I'm able to try new type of juice! However, I still have a really hard time getting over trying "sauce X" or meat that's been marinated in "something" or pre-processed. I still feel sick to my stomach some times at the though of "trying" food or going to a restaurant that I never went to. I really understand what you are all saying when you fear tasting new food or even known food in some case! For example, I love club sandwich, but whenever I go to a new restaurant, I'm worry that their club will be "different" than what I'm used to and that I won't like it.
Heck, I insulted a chef once by kindly asking him to not put sauce on my fish. He would have kicked me out if my friend had not ordered. He really couldn't understand that I wasn't trashing his food but that it's just hard for some of us to taste food. (I didn't eat diner that night since he wouldn't serve anything without his sauce)
So far, patience and slowly trying has helped me to overcome a lot but I still feel bad about tasting new food. I still have a long way to go. While I'd like to travel a little, what I would be eating is a constant worry...
Merri on September 12, 2009:
I have recently ( within the last 2 or 3 years) developed this irrational fear of other peoples cooking, especially if they are cooking somewhere other than my kitchen. I've never told anyone about it, and when i eat at friends houses i eat very slowly and cautiously. I'm not even sure what in/about the food i'm actually afraid of. Its just because I didn't make the food that it scares me. I'm not sure what that kind of fear would even be called.
Sue on September 08, 2009:
My son has a phobia (anxiety) about eating and has been seeing a hypnotherapist who has been really helpful. He like a lot of you only eats about 6 types of food and they are very bland. i.e bread, chips cereals.I had blamed myself as i thought i was not hard enough and maybe its just become a habit but the more he opens up to me the more i realise its not the way he wants to be he can't help it. The hypnotherapist is helping with his confidence and he is slowly trying new foods (tasting). I don't think it will happen overnight but he is becoming more confident around food. Hope this helps.
Jake on August 13, 2009:
I'm so unbelievably relieved about what everyone else has said that I started crying while reading some of these, I really liked Sara's input on it. I do eat a couple things, I like a lot of breakfast foods. I only like probably 2 meats (Hot dogs and bacon [Crispy!]) And fast food, but that's about it. Probably my favorites would be Tacos or Chili (Only from Skyline though) I don't believe that what I go through is nearly as severe as some of yours. I'm not paralyzed by trying new foods, but I can't bring myself to try anything anymore. I'm 15, and I take multi vitamins like an old person because I don't get the nutrition I should be getting. Every time I get invited out to eat at somewhere other than a fast food joint, I think of an excuse not to go so that I can spare being embarresed in front of all my friends. The other night my sister made lasagna, it smelled delicious, but I couldn't bring myself to even put it on my plate... I just couldn't do it. I don't want to blame not eating things on a phobia, but I don't want people to just say I'm a "Picky eater". There are just some things in the brain that are completely unexplainable, and I think this is one of them. I sat down and talked to my sister, crying, after reading some of these. I'm very glad to hear that I'm not alone, though. :')
Maddie Ruud (author) from Oakland, CA on April 23, 2009:
I'd suggest taking him to a psychotherapist specializing in eating disorders. While he may not have an eating disorder, per se, the root issues may be somewhat the same--fear and anxiety and control.
Gail on April 23, 2009:
My son is 18 and has suffered, as many as you have, from the fear of trying new foods. He eats ham subways with cheese and bacon, bagels, yogurt, oatmeal and some cold cereals, oranges, bananas and banana bread, some cookies and pies and rarely a piece of cake........he is about 30 lbs. underweight and I am very concerned at this point in time. I have had him to a nutritionist (no success) and my physician seems to dismiss it and labeled him as a "picky eater"......Please, can someone suggest help?
RENAE on March 15, 2009:
It was quite interesting to read your comments. I sympathize with each of you. I am 39 years old...I have had a deathly fear of orange peels since I was 5 years old. It has comsumed my entire life. As a child, I wouldn't play at recess if there were peels on the playground. I cried and had major panic attacks if oranges were served in the cafeteria.
My ex gave up all citrus just to be with me. My teen aged son has never had any citrus at home and feels guilty if he has it at school. I am constantly looking on the ground for peels. I will not park my car in a parking lot that has peels on the ground. I was offered a very lucrative job in an area of the country that snows. I turned it down because I wouldn't be able to see if there were peels under the snow and may therefore step on one. I don't even visit people that I know eat citrus on a regular basis...that's everyone I know. I have always explained my problem to others by saying that I'm "allergic" to citrus.
The sad thing is that my mother is a psycho-therapist and she has not been able to help me get rid of this fear. So, unfortunately, my daily quest for searching for peels continues. God Bless You!
joe on February 26, 2009:
wow, im so relieved i found this, im sure all of you know how embarrasing it is to deal with this, the few believable excuses only go so far such as... i feel sick.... or im not hungry im 17 people don't buy it anymore. i don't eat fruits or vegtables, i drink mainly water but i like most any drinks, no meat besides chicken nuggets or strips,, i like bread, pasta with ONLY butter nothig else,pizzas fine ,fast food, french fries, peanut butter, doughnuts, cake, chocolate,cereal,pancakes and waffles and that's what ive ate for 15 years. before then i ate extremely healthy and ate everythingg but hamburgers. can you guys tell me what ur successes were, cause im in therapy and the gains are few and far between.
Sara on February 26, 2009:
I'm so happy I found this. Like so many of you, I have an intense fear of trying new foods. I can't explain why, but I just can't. I'm 18 and I'm tired of dreading social events because of food situations. I'm tired of my parents constantly searching for places to eat based on if I'll eat anything there. I'm tired of making of excuses at meals about how I'm "not hungry" or "not feeling well" to avoid eating. I'm tired of being judged as being a "picky eater" when this problem goes far beyond a childish stubbornness to not eat certain things. I can count the things I actually DO eat on two hands. I'm moving away for college next year and I'm terrified about what I'll do as far as food goes. More than anything, I want to find a way to overcome this.
Taylor on February 02, 2009:
Hello! I'm Taylor, sixteen years old. When I was a baby I was easily satisfied with foods of all sorts- but like any child I had tastes. However, whatever I wanted, I never had to eat again! Once I grew up I stopped eating foods- I used to LOVE fish sticks, for example, and I took a break from eating them- now, I can't stand fish of any kind.
I am struggling, especially as a teenager, to get adequate nutrition and help my peers and family understand what I feel when confronted with foods I 'dont like', which is translated as, 'wont eat'. It is much easier to list what I DO eat then what I don't. None of it is very healthy. For years I have worried about my own health, though you'd never believe it, and so has my family. I am constantly reminded that I'll end up in the hospital or worse if I don't start eating better. People are constantly asking me why I don't want to change, why I don't care what happens to me later on. I have a hard time explaining that that's not it. It's not a matter of 'want'.
I can't even explain the feelings of releif washing over me at reading all these comments! I thought for years, just like my family, that I was alone in the world with this problem.
I am definitely going to check out the hypnotherepy and NLP sugguestions. It is a relief to have some hope that I'll be able to overcome everything and expand my horizons.
For anyone's interest, I eat: pizza, chicken nuggets/strips/tenders, all fruit (aside from kiwi, mango, banana, canteloupe, and honeydew), pb&j, corn, carrots, grilled cheese, quesadillas, turkey&cheese sandwhiches (when I say turkey and cheese, I mean literally: bread, turkey, and cheese from subway. Nothing else. And I MUST have it with chips.), breaded cheese (mozarella sticks), crispy bacon, waffles, french toast, hashbrowns, french fries, and spaghetti/noodles with butter only.
As you might have noticed, I do not eat any condiments or sauces. The smell of ketchup makes me nauseous. I refuse to eat fish. There are a few more things I'm sure I eat, but right now I'm drawing a blank. As you can see there are no greens in my diet. I am clearly lacking in the nutritional aspect of life. I need help!I hope hypnotherepy and NLP can help me. Thanks so much, and good luck everyone!
skitzes on January 25, 2009:
OMG. I just found this page and I'm praying some of you are still online. I have a very extreme case of the general phobia as described above by crystalie, candace, emaverick and jack. i started crying when i read the posts. i truly thought i'm all alone because my phobia is so hard to classify or make sense of.
i've never tried most foods, yet i'm paralyzed by fear- i don't know even know if i'm afraid of new taste, textures, or what- but i went to cognitive behavioral therapy 2-3 times a week for a year to desensitize myself and made very little progress. i added a few things to my very limited diet, but did not get rid of the fear or significantly improve my lifestyle at all.
i don't wanna get bogged down in all the details until i know someones listening but i seem to have different rationalizations for not wanting to eat different foods. i think the idea of eating any meat or fish is disgusting, yet for some reason i've always been able to eat bacon. i'm equally grossed by fruits and vegetables, so what's left? even the sight and/or smell of many foods can make me nautious. i have a few "safe" foods to which there is no sensible pattern.
besides the health concerns, i've been dealing with the social issues my entire life. i hate weddings because i never eat and feel like a retard. that's just one example of the stress and anxiety it causes.
has anyone tried hypnosis or NLP with success? PLEASE reach out to me if you're similar or know about this- I'd like to talk to someone who truly understands.
beetledrivers on January 21, 2009:
I am 39. The older I get the worse I get about the foods I eat. I prefer soft texture foods. If I eat meat I vomit. If i drink anything but tea or diet soda I get ill or angry. I live on M&M's (I crave milk chocolate... not other kind of chocolate tastes good), scrambled eggs (only with cheese), eggo waffles (plain) and mashed potatoes. I snack on White Cheddar Cheezits and popcorn. I am miserable, not because of my choices, but because no one can explain the headaches, rashes, heart pain and gastric issues I have been facing for the last 4 to 5 years that caused this change in my habits. I can't go to certain restaurants. If I go out and order, I am miserable after I eat a 4th of a burger or a single shrimp and all I want to do is sleep. I don't eat any fruit but watermelon and the occasional banana. I only eat peas and green beans and the beans should be steamed. I love soups, but only brothy soups and have reduced myself to Gerber graduates because I can't eat full helpings of anything. I am on Nexium and Welbuterin and neither seems to alieviate this growing issue. Any comments would be welcomed.
Aislinn on October 01, 2008:
Oh my God, I thougt I was the only person with this problem. Its such a relief to know this problem exits. Ever since I can remember (about) I've been afraid to taste foods such as most fruits, I'll only eat pure white chiken too an generally stick to carbs. People, my family included alway's tell me I'm missing out or an forever trying to get me to taste things. i've become better since I was 12 as all I used to eat was anything potatoey an chicken. My dad thinks that it may be something to do with being tube fed through my nose (due to my Illness) as a baby till about the age of 5 so I prob lost a sense for taste. Anybody Know know of help to over come this?
Nicole. on September 19, 2008:
I heard on a tv show someone say something about "a fear of new foods"...
is there such thing?and what is it called if so?
ME 2 on August 27, 2008:
Any idea what one can do to 'help' themselves get over this fear? i am EXACTLY the same, as not to repeat everything that you have all said, i'm in the exact situation and feel so embarrased when people tru urge me to try new things and say i'm missing out... blah blah blah, i'm sure you all know how it goes...
Maddie Ruud (author) from Oakland, CA on July 02, 2008:
I was in treatment with a young woman who was so terrified of throwing up after eating, that her anxiety actually made her do just that. I'm glad you're starting therapy, and confident you can overcome this, as she did.
In the meantime, try non-meat sources of protein (such as tofu) and drinking pasteurized fruit/vegetable juices to try to get your body the nutrition it needs while you process the emotional aspects of your phobia.
Best of luck, and be well!
carbsonly on July 02, 2008:
ok, i am glad this page is here. I am going to start therapy tomorrow. I have terrible fear of getting sick from food..such as E-Coli or Salmonaella. I got Salmonella once from Baja Fresh ..a fast food place in LA and it SUCKED really bad. I have the worst phobia of throwing up, so I don't want to eat anything that can make me sick. With all of the recalls of tomatoes, ground beef today, spinach, etc..I wont eat anything but carbs. Bread, crackers, cereal, etc. It is making me really crazy and very grumpy. I will occasionally eat something else, but then will feel sick and worry all night. HAs anyone heard of this??
Jennifer on June 30, 2008:
I came across this when I entered "food phobia" in Google because I have a 12 year old son who I truly believe is afraid and paraylzed at the thought of trying new foods. This has gone on for years and years. He cries because he does not want to be like this but we don't know what to do. We have 2 other children who were somewhat picky but we were able to do the "regular" parenting behavior strategies and get them to try things. Our son is completely different. No amount of rewards, removal of privileges etc. matter. Reading many of your comments made we feel so relieved to know it is something experienced by others as well. He has seen medical professionals but none of them really seem to understand the severity of it. They understand him to be a picky eater and just suggest he "try" new foods. I try to explain that the trying is the problem. When Emaverick said he only eats plain rice I almost died! Jack lives on rice, (but can't try pasta), bread, pancakes, waffles, pears, apples, peanut butter and cereal. He will occasionally have breaded chicken but only fast food and the stars have to allign for him to try it even if he has had it before and liked it. The social stigma is awful! I really feel for all of you who have dealt with this for so long!
Christine on June 24, 2008:
I have come to meet many people through my practice that like you have fears of tasting new foods. Those individuals like you had a life limited by their phobia. There is help out there. I am a hypnotherapist and have great success with the sessions also you may want to look into NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Even more effective and especially even faster. I am so excited about the success rates that I am going to take my certificateion in NLP in 3 weeks actually. If you wish to read up on it look for Richard BANDLERS works.