BC Advantage - 2017 Issue 11

Pica The Need to Eat Dirt and Other Non-Food Stuff

Most of us are aware of such eating disorders as anorexia and bulimia. One involves starvation and the other involves binge eating and purging. However, imagine the need to eat soil, cigarette butts, and paint. A person who has experienced such food cravings may have been diagnosed with pica. The word pica is Latin for magpie, a bird known for its willingness to eat just about anything. Pica is a rare eating disorder that may develop at any stage of life, but it tends to occur in young children, adolescents, and pregnant women. Infants and babies learn about...

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