PICA is a classified feeding disorder characterised by a person eating non-nutritive substances (food with no nutritional value) which is inappropriate to their developmental level. The substances could include but not exclusively items such as chalk, soap, clay and paint.

While PICA is more common in children anyone can develop the illness regardless of age, gender and background. Due to the nature of this illness and the consumption of non-food substances there can be many physical and medical complications that may need urgent attention.

There is however still a great gap in understanding around this illness and much research is yet to be carried out to further the knowledge base around the development and course of the illness.

Please see our leaflet ‘About Eating Disorders’ for more information.

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