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J Am Coll Nutr. 2012 Jun;31(3):152-9.

Cross-sectional exploration of maternal reports of food neophobia and pickiness in preschooler-mother dyads.

Author information

1
Unità di Nutrizione Clinica, Direzione Scientifica Ospedale Pediatrico “Bambino Gesù”, Università “Sapienza”, Rome, Italy. viviana.finistrella@gmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate cross-sectional associations of food neophobia and pickiness in preschoolers and in their mothers with regard also to food consumption, proposal of new foods, feeding, and weaning modes.

DESIGN:

Matched child and maternal data collected by means of self-report questionnaires administered to mothers.

SETTING:

Kindergartens of the City of Rome Municipality, Italy.

SUBJECTS:

One hundred twenty-seven mother-child pairs. Children were aged from 2 to 6 years. All participants were normal weight or obese.

MEASURES OF OUTCOME:

Mothers' and children's food neophobia and pickiness.

RESULTS:

Pickiness and neophobia were related within both children's (r(o) = 0.528, p = 0.001) and mothers' (r(o) = 0.186, p = 0.037) samples. Mothers' and children's neophobia and pickiness were significantly although modestly associated (neophobia r(o) = 0.223, p = 0.012; pickiness r(o) = 0.311, p = 0.001). Overweight and obese children were significantly more neophobic (18.8 ± 6.4 vs 15.7 ± 7.6; p = 0.03) and picky (6.87 ± 2.2 vs 5.72 ± 2.7; p = 0.03) than normal-weight children.

CONCLUSIONS:

Preschoolers' food neophobia and pickiness were correlated. Mothers and children displayed similarities in food neophobia, pickiness, and dietary habits. Genetics and environmental cues jointly contribute to shape preschoolers' attitudes toward familiar and unfamiliar foods. Hence, future longitudinal studies of larger samples are necessary to better define the role of genetics, parental feeding practices, and environmental characteristics in the development of food neophobia and pickiness.

PMID:
23204151
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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