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Pediatr Clin North Am. 1992 Jun;39(3):379-94.

The development of eating behavior in childhood.

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Department of Pediatrics, Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California.


Eating behavior must be viewed as a complex phenomenon involving the coordination of motor, cognitive, social and emotional development, all under the regulation of both central and peripheral factors. Eating provides not only the necessary biologic substrate for human growth and normal physiologic function but is strongly involved in the full range of social interaction from the formation of the mother-infant relationship to later social interaction. Eating is associated with a variety of pleasurable and painful affective experiences. The pediatrician, working closely with the parents, can facilitate the development of healthy attitudes toward eating and healthy eating behaviors.

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