Is Picky Eating a Mental Illness? Vegans? Vegetarians? Locavores?

Vegan
I missed this article on picky eating from the Wall Street Journal earlier in the month.

Doctors once thought only kids were picky eaters, and that they would grow out of it. Now, however, a task force studying how to categorize eating disorders for the new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, due out in 2013, is considering recognizing for the first time a disorder to be called "selective eating" that could apply to adults as well as children. The DSM, a common psychiatric reference book, would currently lump picky eaters into a classification of eating disorder "not otherwise specified," a catchall category for people who don't meet the criteria for a major disorder.

There is no question that eating disorders can be some of the most damaging and perplexing of mental illnesses, but the idea of expanding the definition to encompass more seemingly benign behaviors has created some interesting debate.

The Crispy on the Outside Blog goes to the "vegans are mentally ill" card.

I’m not as judgmental as some people around here about vegetarians, but I do think some of the extreme types, like vegans, are adult picky eaters who wrap their neuroses in an ideological flag.

The Daily Dish offers a "there is some truth to that" salvo.

More response here and here.

Personally, I know better than to mess with the vegan mafia so count me out of the "vegans are crazy" debate. A more productive debate about food and mental health would be to explore the dire mental health impacts of all the lousy processed mainstream foods the majority of people eat. Is it possible that the rise in a cheap corn and soy based diet is related to the rise in incidence of depression? If I were a psychologist that's where I would put my energies. 

Go here and here for my previous posts, "Is Vegan the New Locavore?"