Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and eating


Well-Known Member
someone posted about anorexia.
Our son has something very similar. But can Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) cause this?
I can describe.
He is always 5-10 pounds underweight. I would say closer to ten pounds at the moment. If under any stress, it jumps up to ten pounds. He will drink shakes to try to get his weight up a little ESP if he goes to ten pounds underweight, so that right there doesn't sound like anorexia.
He is extraordinarily picky about his food. It must be healthy. And he eats small amounts. If something is healthy and delicious and not too fattening, he will actually eat a very large portion. But I can only think of two things that fit this description and one is a salad.
He is very prone to suggestion. If a relative stops eating beef for example, he might stop eating beef for a year. He has resumed eating beef, but only rarely...not like he ate it before. He doesn't love veggies, so his choices are kind of narrow. He won't eat candy. On a rare occasion (his birthday for example) he will have a tiny piece of cake.
He is clearly skinny , yet if you observed his eating habits/style other than those occasional shakes when he is very underweight, he eats like a person on a strict weight reduction diet. He claims he is trying to eat to gain weight. He even periodically records his intake and says he is eating 2000 calls a day. I'm on a weight loss diet and I don't see how this is possible. A little chicken and salad for example is not much dinner for example for a man. He eats very little bread and avoids fats like butter. Maybe this is simply a healthy diet for the most part. It seems a bit concerning that someone who is underweight would have so many restrictions. Is this all Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) stuff?


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Forgot to mention a few more things:
He has had his thyroid checked a few times and it is fine.
He got life insurance but they did express concern that he was underweight.
If he experiences depression or extreme stress he will go more than ten pounds underweight.
He seems to pick up on every fad out there but since some are opposing he can end up not eating much at all during certain times.


Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
This is indeed something that can go hand in hand with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). With today’s trendiness for food avoidances for multitudes if reasons it is difficult to identify and manage such disorders.

It is similar to Anorexia but is identified as AFID. I am no expert but have a look at the description in the link I added here and see if this fits the description of your son and I hope he can seek help for this issue.

Big hugs to you. This is not easy to see or manage.


Well-Known Member
I think these are clearly two anxiety-related disorders. Stress can make some people, like myself, actually stop eating, so I'll lose weight. It's the other way around for some. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can overlap with other anxiety disorders. In schools weight has become a major thing. Our students get BMI report cards every six weeks. If they don't meet certain requirements, their parents are contacted about seeing a nutritional specialist.


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OMG, this is my son too. In all other aspects of his life, he is amazing. He is very wealthy and smart. He is hyper aware of anything that goes in his body and he works out too much. He is so skinny and all muscle. Honestly, he looks scary. I do nothing about it, you will only make it worse. Leave it, I had an eating disorder, but its called body dismorphia. He has to figure it out on his own, just be all positive, loving, supportive and never mention it. Honestly, you"ll make it worse if you do. He will get it.


Roll With It
Nomad, I think your son has something very complex going on. Maybe you could let your son know that if he ever wanted help, you would support him in that? I don't know how he would feel if you were to broach that topic. You would know if he would respond to that or not. It might be worth a try.

My family and friends and even teachers spent 20 years trying to get help for my "anorexia". It was a conversation that confused me when I was little, made me laugh at times, and then got old. It really would bother me when the same people would not accept that I was not anorexic but I was just not able to gain weight the way they were. I am sure that I didn't help the situation by being a very picky eater.

So I understand how this is a tough discussion to have. I have discussed it with friends who have eating disorders. I have had others bring it up with me. It is usually a discussion that does not go the way that the person who starts it wants it to go. All you can do is to try to bring it up, to be open minded, and to be there for him in whatever way he will allow whenever he will allow. It may be that you have to bring up the idea to him and then give him some time to think about it.


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True eating disorders and food obsessions, run in my family and I have a close friend who has one too. Except for my friend, the people are food obsessed....it reminds me of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and they are OVER exercisers. Or were. One is a deceased uncle.

I think it must be torture to worry about everything you eat, every pound gained or lost and to wake up at 4:30am to work out before work, even though you are underweight and get plenty of good exercise at your job. That is compromising your sleep to get 1 1/2--2 hrs of intense exercise in.

I know someone I have never seen sit own and eat a meal. Ever.

Being an obsessively clean housekeeper seems to go with it. That isn't a bad thing, but the women I knew who have it both used Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) to explain their need to clean all the time.

So Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)? Maybe on the spectrum of it.


Well-Known Member
Thank you.
I suppose it is a little positive that he does not exercise. Doesn't seem to have any interest. His wife likes to take walks and likes him to go with her and he usually will go if she asks. But it isn't something he truly wants to do. It's a great idea, don't get me wrong. I'm just looking for signs of over exercising and this is not present.

Ha! Regarding cleaning. NOT consistent BUT there is a little something there potentially. He is in charge of housework, which is a bit atypical in our society. He absolutely is not obsessed (thank goodness!!!!) BUT periodically, if he has the time (like a few days off from work) he likes to do a super duper top notch cleaning of his home. Not in the "abnormal" department since it is NOT interfering with his life. Whew. But , I notice it as it is a bit unusual.

His unusual eating habits are what get my attention the most. Often under eating calories and he seems to be picky/fickle.