Picky Eating Persistence

January 8, 2019 by: Pediatrics for Parents staff Article Tags:

The Question: Are young picky eaters likely to become picky eating teens?

The Study: The 181 non-Hispanic white girls’ eating habits were evaluated from age five years to age 15 years. In addition, the use of parental pressure to encourage eating was determined along with the girls’ height, weight, and body mass index (BMI), an indicator of obesity status. Types of food intake, with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables, was recorded.

The Results: Of the 181 girls in the study, 33 were diagnosed as picky eaters. Throughout the time of the study, the picky eaters had a lower BMI (at the 50th percentile) compared to the 65th percentile for the non-picky eaters. Persistent picky eaters were less likely to be obese than the control group. Both groups ate less than the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. The persistent picky eaters experienced more parental pressure about eating than the non-picky eaters. There was no difference in the percentage of girls with a weight within the normal range.

Comment: The persistent picky eaters fared as well as the non-picky eaters in obesity rate, being normal weight, and intake of fruit and vegetables. This study should help the parents of picky eaters to relax and not put pressure on their girls to eat.