New research shows children who are picky with their meals are prone to a higher chance of developing mental health problems, i.e. depression and anxiety.
Experts from the science community say that fussy children might display a signal of acute mental problems in their eating habits that are not to be ignored.
This specific new study shows that those who consider food fussiness as a passing phase (i.e. parents and doctors) could be making a grave mistake.
A statistical analysis of about 3.000 children aged two to six shows that even “moderate” pickiness was correlated with high levels of depression and anxiety.
A diagnosis of depression may unfortunately be discovered in children with highly selective eating habits, and they are twice as likely as normal eaters to develop it.
Dr. Nancy Zucker, lead researchers from University of Duke Center for Eating Disorders in the US, investigated the statement that emphasized that picky eating is truly a problem. That is the most accurate question for physicians and parents.
Dr. Zucker also claimed that the children in question were not just misbehaving kids who refused to eat their broccoli.
The scientific journal Pediatrics, where the study was published, said that more than a fifth of the kids were selective eaters, whereas about 18 per cent were assigned the category of “moderately picky”, and 3 per cent – “severely selective”.
Children with both moderate and, moreover, severely selective eating patterns of behavior displayed symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mental health problems.
To quote Dr. Zucker:
“There’s no question that not all children go on to have chronic selective eating in adulthood. But because these children are seeing impairment in their health and well-being now, we need to start developing ways to help these parents and doctors know when and how to intervene.”
She also said that the reason for children’s refusal to eat certain types of food is that they might have heightened senses, enabling them to be overwhelmed by the texture, taste and smell of certain foods.
New remedies were needed for sensitive children undergoing frequent experiences of “palpable disgust”,reported Dr Zucker.
A study adapted for the general public in 2013 underlined the fact that the children of mothers who eat too little fruit and vegetables during pregnancy are prone to be picky eaters.
As a conclusion, unfortunately, youngsters who are moderately or severely picky in their eating habits are twice as likely to suffer from depression later in life.
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