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The hidden hunger of Pica: Stories from people who eat objects

When Shannon Litchfield’s 11 year-old son, Cameron, was losing weight and feeling sick, she took him to the emergency room. The x-ray they saw showed magnets, screws, and yarn in his stomach.

We’ll explore the eating disorder known as Pica, where people are drawn to eating objects. A researcher talks about her findings after completing a research study with 600 parents of young children, and meet a woman who ate nearly two pounds of rocks every day for 20 years.

Click here for more information on Pica.


  • Teresa Widener: A Bedford, Virginia woman who developed anemia during pregnancy, which began a 20 year addiction to eating rocks 
  • Sigita Lesinskiene: A child and adolescent psychiatry consultant at the Ministry of Health in Lithuania, and a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at Vilnius University who has studied Pica in her country
  • Shannon and Cameron Litchfield: Albany, Oregon residents who are learning to navigate life with Pica, after Cameron had to have surgery to remove magnets, screws, and yarn from his stomach

Melody Rivera, Jessica Severin de Martinez, Khaleel Rahman, Meg Fitzgerald, Meg Dalton, Carol Chen, Stacey Addo, and Catie Talarski contributed to this show.

Audacious with Chion Wolf is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Tune In, Listen Notes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode.

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Melody Rivera is the 2022 Nick Donofrio summer intern at Connecticut Public. She reports for the New England News Collaborative.
Jessica Severin de Martinez is a producer for Audacious with Chion Wolf.
Khaleel Rahman is a producer for 'Audacious with Chion Wolf.'
Meg Dalton is the deputy director of storytelling for Connecticut Public where she provides editorial support for the station’s talk shows and podcasts, including the limited series 'In Absentia'.
Catie Talarski is Senior Director of Storytelling and Radio Programming at Connecticut Public.
Chion Wolf is the host of Audacious with Chion Wolf on Connecticut Public, featuring conversations with people who have uncommon or misunderstood experiences, conditions, or professions.
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