Poster Topical Area: Maternal, Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 306

P13-048 - A review of the eating behaviors and attitudes associated with picky eating

Sunday, Jun 10
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Objectives: Picky eating is a broad construct that has been interpreted in a variety of ways by different researchers, and likely is comprised of several types of behaviors that contribute to a perception of a limited diet or food refusals. The current objective was to review the literature for the eating behaviors most commonly associated with picky eating and to discuss potential interventions.

Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted to identify publications which included behavioral associations with picky eating in children under 10 years old. From the 38 manuscripts that met inclusion criteria, the behaviors associated with degree of picky eating or those that differentiated picky- and non-picky eaters were extracted.

Results: Picky eaters may display several different types of behaviors, among which the most common are neophobia (15 studies), lower fruit and vegetable intake (8 studies with difference; one no difference), food refusals (6 studies), less enjoyment of eating (7 studies with difference; one no difference), and sensory sensitivities (5 studies). Fruit and vegetable intake and sensory sensitivities were the topics with the most objective assessment methods. The other domains relied primarily on parent response to questionnaire items or subscales, and could benefit from confirmation from behavioral assessments. Potential family-based intervention strategies from the broader feeding practice literature will be discussed.

Conclusions: There is a growing body of evidence that picky eaters may differ from non-picky eaters in their neophobia, fruit and vegetable intake, food refusals, enjoyment of eating, and sensory sensitivity. Some of these behaviors (e.g., neophobia) are typically included in picky eating assessments, whereas others (e.g., sensory sensitivity) are often overlooked.

Funding Source:

This review did not have an external funding source. All authors were supported by their salaries.

CoAuthors: Stef Kremers – Maastrict University; Klazine van der Horst – Nestlé Research Center

Lisa R. Fries

Nestlé Research Center
Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland