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What snot for dinner

Chapter 15 of the book Consuming the Inedible: Neglected Dimensions of Food Choice is called “Eating Snot – Socially Unacceptable but Common: Why?” Maria Jesus Portalatin wrote that chapter. Investigator Wilson Maslin brought it to our attention, and now we bring it to yours.

BONUS; The 2001 Ig Nobel Prize-winning study  “A Preliminary Survey of Rhinotillexomania in an Adolescent Sample,” Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, vol. 62, no. 6, June 2001, pp. 426-31. The abstract explains:

BACKGROUND: Rhinotillexomania is a recent term coined to describe compulsive nose picking. There is little world literature on nose-picking behavior in the general population.

METHOD: We studied nose-picking behavior in a sample of 200 adolescents from 4 urban schools.

RESULTS: Almost the entire sample admitted to nose picking, with a median frequency of 4 times per day; the frequency was > 20 times per day in 7.6% of the sample. Nearly 17% of subjects considered that they had a serious nose-picking problem. Other somatic habits such as nail biting, scratching in a specific spot, or pulling out of hair were also common; 3 or more such behaviors were simultaneously present in 14.2% of the sample, only in males. Occasional nose bleeds complicating nose picking occurred in 25% of subjects. Several interesting findings in specific categories of nose pickers were identified.

CONCLUSION: Nose picking is common in adolescents. It is often associated with other habitual behaviors. Nose picking may merit closer epidemiologic and nosologic scrutiny.

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