What Happens to Picky Eaters

“Little belly-achers grow up to be big belly-achers and big belly-achers beget little belly-achers” –John Apley

John Apley’s monographThe Child with Abdominal Pains indicates that children with recurrent abdominal pain often grow up to be adults with abdominal pains.  A recent study indicates the same type of phenomenon with picky eaters.

A summary of this study in Research Digest: The first study to see if fussy-eating children grow into fussy-eating adults (Thanks to Bonney Reed-Knight for this link.)

An excerpt:

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.

The researchers led by Meredith Van Tine at Stanford University School of Medicine managed to catch up with 61 individuals, now aged 23, who’d participated as children in a long-running study in which their eating habits had been scored by their parents at ages 2, 7, 9.5 and 11, including any signs of fussy eating (being a “selective eater”, having strong likes and dislikes, and only eating a limited variety of foods etc). The participants were now asked to rate themselves on whether they were selective or fussy eaters, and they answered questions about whether they engaged in behaviours related to eating disorders.

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