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BPS News

The first study to see if fussy-eating children grow into fussy-eating adults

11 August 2017

Fussy eating – also referred to as “selective eating” in scholarly research – is incredibly common among children, with upper estimates placing the prevalence at 50 per cent.

Despite this, many parents understandably fret when their kids avoid a lot of foods, won’t try new things and/or will only eat certain meals. They worry whether their child is getting enough vitamins and if their child’s fussiness is some kind of precursor to later more serious eating problems.

A new, small study in Eating Behaviors is the first to document how fussy eating develops in the same individuals over time into early adulthood and may provide a crumb (sorry) of comfort for anxious parents.

It’s true that 60 per cent of fussy eating children in the study were also fussy eaters at age 23, but fussy eating young adults were no more likely to report signs of eating disorder than their non-fussy peers.

Read more on our Research Digest blog.

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