Recent research suggests that there may be a link between picky eating and underlying psychological issues such as anxiety, depression, and ADHD.
While parents all sometimes have frustration with convincing their children to eat healthy foods, there comes a time when selective eating may be associated with issues that require intervention.
A team of researchers from Duke Medicine in Durham, NC, found that the association with psychological problems was present in children who had both moderate and severe levels of selective eating. The study was recently published in Pediatrics.
Eating problems have become widespread among young children. Many experts consider that they are a normal part of child development among preschoolers. The study found that selective eating among children ages 2-5 was reported by between 14-20% of parents.
Director of the Duke Center for Eating Disorders, Nancy Zucker, is the lead author of the study. “The question for many parents and physicians is: when is picky eating truly a problem?” she asks. “The children we’re talking about are not just misbehaving kids who refuse to eat their broccoli.”