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Pica Means Magpie

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Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • pica: an eating disorder characterized by a craving for non-food substances
  • magpie: a long-tailed, black and white bird
  • craving: a strong feeling of need, usually related to food consumption
  • persist: to last a long time
  • psychological: related to the brain


Pica Means Magpie

Magpies are birds that will eat almost anything, whether it’s food or not. Some humans crave with no nutritional value. This eating disorder is called pica. Pica is Latin for magpie. People who suffer from pica have cravings for non-food substances, such as dirt, paper, or ashes sometimes occur in children. Most children outgrow this behaviour by the time they reach . If pica persists, it may be related to a psychological that requires the help of a mental health worker. Pregnant women may also develop pica. Their cravings may stem from a lack of certain vitamins or minerals.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Why was this eating disorder named after magpies?
  2. What examples of non-food cravings are given in this report?
  3. What usually happens to young children who have a tendency to eat things like dirt or paper?

Discussion Questions: What do you often crave when you are hungry? Do you have different cravings during different seasons? How have your cravings changed since you were a child?

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