I'm reading Outlander last night, and I come across this all-too-familiar scene. The heroine of the story, Claire, has time-traveled, almost been raped, forced onto a horse for hours and is thoroughly traumatized. By the time the rough gang of Scots who have abducted her arrive at their clan's castle, it's been more than 24 hours since she has eaten. She has endured all this while wearing a light cotton dress, and when they arrive at the castle in the dark, she stays up several more hours dressing a man's wound before finally collapsing in bed.
When she wakes up the next morning, she "sips" a cup of light broth, but has "no appetite for the bannocks and parritch that Mrs. FitzGibbons had brought for my breakfast, but crumbled a bit and pretended to eat, in order to gain some time for thought." I don't even know what bannocks and parritch are, but I'm 100% sure they're more hearty than a sip of light broth. And she goes on to pretend to eat some crumbs? A bit later she is taken to the laird of the castle, who has a tray of refreshments brought in. Claire "nibble[s] sparingly at these; my stomach was churning too vigorously to allow for any appetite."
I cannot tell you how many time I have read scenes just like this in fiction. It's actually a trope at this point: women in physical distress or exhaustion turning down an offer of food. Why are we so damn afraid to let a female character eat? Why does that enhance her character?
I'm sending out a call here: Help me out and post, in the comments section, any similar passages you come across in novels. Could be a very interesting list.