Pica

J R Soc Health. 1997 Oct;117(5):280-4. doi: 10.1177/146642409711700503.

Abstract

Pica is the compulsive eating of non-food substances over a sustained period of time. It remains an intriguing, little understood occurrence, with a potential for both positive and negative outcomes. In this review information is given on the history of the phenomenon, its prevalence among children and women, and its relation to iron and zinc deficiency. A number of examples of pica practice are reported from Africa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Africa / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Deficiency Diseases / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Iron / deficiency
  • Male
  • Pica* / epidemiology
  • Pica* / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Zinc / deficiency

Substances

  • Iron
  • Zinc