ABSTRACT WATCH: Association of Picky Eating with Growth, Nutritional Status, Development, Physical Activity, and Health in Preschool Children

wp-1558861636501..jpgFront Pediatr. 2018; 6: 22.
Published online 2018 Feb 12. doi: 10.3389/fped.2018.00022

Association of Picky Eating with Growth, Nutritional Status, Development, Physical Activity, and Health in Preschool Children

Hsun-Chin Chao1,*



This study aimed to assess the prevalence of picky eating among preschool children and to evaluate the association between eating behavior and growth, physical activity, development, and health status.

A structured questionnaire was used to conduct a cross-sectional descriptive study of 300 primary caregivers of children aged 2–4 years in Taiwan. Data collected included: demographics, food preferences, eating behavior, body weight, and height, development, physical activity, and records of medical illness. Data from children defined as picky or non-picky eaters based on parental’ questionnaire responses were analyzed and compared using standard statistical tests.

The mean age of the children was 2.95 years; 162 (54%) were picky eaters. Compared with non-picky eaters, z-score of weight-for-age, height-for-age, and body mass index (BMI)-for-age in picky eaters was 0.91, 0.73, and 0.44 SD lower, respectively. There were significant differences of rates in the weight-for-age, height-for-age, and BMI-for-age percentiles <15, between picky and non-picky eaters (P = 0.04, 0.023, and 0.005, respectively). Fear of unfamiliar places, poor physical activity, constipation, and high frequency (>2 times in the past 3 months) of medical illness were significantly higher in picky eaters (P = 0.01, 0.001, 0.044, and <0.001, respectively).

The prevalence of picky eaters in preschool children was high, resulting in significant detrimental impacts on growth, nutritional status, development, physical activity, and health status.

Keywords: picky eating, growth, development, physical activity, health, preschool children


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