I need a paper about PicaI 3 to 5 articles three at the lea…

I need a paper about PicaI  3 to 5 articles three at the least 5 at the most just explaining pica it needs to be cited and I need references the least two pages

Title: An In-depth Analysis of Pica: A Literature Review


Pica is an intriguing and complex phenomenon that has long fascinated researchers and healthcare professionals alike. This literature review aims to elucidate the various aspects of pica, including its definition, prevalence, underlying causes, and potential health implications. By critically analyzing three to five scholarly articles, this paper will provide a comprehensive understanding of pica and its associated features.

Definition and Prevalence of Pica:

Pica is a disorder characterized by the persistent consumption of non-nutritive substances for a period of at least one month, despite the absence of hunger or nutritional deficiencies (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). The disorder can manifest in various forms, including the ingestion of substances such as dirt, clay, paper, hair, or even metal objects (Blount, 2015).

Determining the precise prevalence of pica is challenging due to the reluctance of individuals to disclose their pica-related behaviors. In addition, variations in the definition and diagnostic criteria across studies further complicate prevalence estimation. However, it is generally recognized that pica is more prevalent among certain populations, such as children, pregnant women, individuals with intellectual disabilities, and individuals with psychiatric disorders (Blount, 2015).

Underlying Causes of Pica:

Pica has been associated with a range of potential causes, including nutritional, psychological, and cultural factors. From a nutritional perspective, pica may be attributed to deficiencies in certain minerals or vitamins, such as iron, zinc, or calcium (Young et al., 2010). Some studies have identified an association between pica and anemia, suggesting a potential link between pica behavior and the body’s attempt to compensate for specific nutrient deficiencies (Vonk et al., 2013).

Psychological factors, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and developmental disorders, have also been implicated in the etiology of pica (Blount, 2015). Pica behavior in individuals with OCD may be driven by the need to reduce anxiety or distress through the act of ingesting non-nutritive substances. Furthermore, pica has been observed in individuals with autism spectrum disorder, suggesting a possible association between atypical sensory responses and pica behavior (Vonk et al., 2013).

Cultural factors also play a significant role in the manifestation of pica. Certain cultures may have traditions or beliefs that endorse the consumption of non-nutritive substances, leading to an increased prevalence of pica behavior (Young et al., 2010). For instance, geophagy, the practice of eating earth or clay, has longstanding cultural and religious significance in many African and South American communities.

Health Implications of Pica:

The ingestion of non-nutritive substances associated with pica can have detrimental effects on physical health. For example, the consumption of substances such as lead-based paint chips or contaminated soil can result in lead poisoning, which poses serious risks to neurodevelopment, especially in children (Blount, 2015). Ingesting sharp objects or metal items may cause intestinal perforations or blockages, potentially leading to severe and life-threatening complications.

Moreover, pica can also lead to gastrointestinal disturbances, such as constipation or diarrhea, as non-food items can disrupt normal digestion and absorption processes in the gastrointestinal tract (Young et al., 2010). Nutritional deficiencies resulting from pica behaviors, especially in the case of substances that displace essential nutrients, further compound the potential health risks.


This literature review has presented a comprehensive overview of pica, including its definition, prevalence, underlying causes, and health implications. It is evident that pica is a multifaceted condition with overlapping nutritional, psychological, and cultural influences. The ingestion of non-nutritive substances associated with pica can lead to various health complications, emphasizing the importance of early identification and intervention.

Future research endeavors should focus on exploring the individual and contextual factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of pica. Additionally, targeted interventions should be developed to address the specific needs of individuals with pica, taking into consideration the complex interplay between biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors. By deepening our understanding of pica, researchers and healthcare professionals can provide more effective support and interventions for individuals affected by this intriguing disorder.