Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Hum Nutr Diet. 2007 Aug;20(4):294-301.

The importance of exposure for healthy eating in childhood: a review.

Author information

1
Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, Gower Street, London, UK. lucy.cooke@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Children's food preferences are strongly associated with their consumption patterns. Identifying the factors that influence preferences is therefore crucial to the development of effective interventions to improve children's diets. Perhaps the most important determinant of a child's liking for a particular food is the extent to which it is familiar. Put simply, children like what they know and they eat what they like. From the very earliest age, children's experiences with food influence both preferences and intake, and research suggests that the earlier and broader that experience, the healthier the child's diet. Laboratory studies of children's food acceptance have indicated that repeated opportunities to taste unfamiliar foods results in increased liking and consumption. In order to investigate whether these results can be replicated in real-world situations, a series of naturalistic studies testing the efficacy of exposure-based interventions have been carried out. In a school-based study large increases in liking and intake of raw red pepper were seen in 5- to 7-year olds and two further studies, in which mothers used exposure techniques to increase children's acceptance of vegetables, achieved similar results. If future large-scale interventions prove to be successful, training could be offered to health professionals or directly to parents themselves.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center