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Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2015 Nov;28(6):448-54. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000194.

Picky eating: the current state of research.

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aParnassia Psychiatric Institute, The Hague bThe Generation R Study Group, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands cDepartment of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, USA dDepartment of Psychiatry, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands eDepartment of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust fUniversity College London, Institute of Child Health, London, UK.



In this review, an overview of literature on picky eating is given, with the focus on recently published studies.


Papers on picky eating published over the past 2 years broadly covered three themes: characterization of picky eating; factors contributing to the development of picky eating in children; and management of picky eating. Findings suggest that picky eating is a reasonably robust concept, comprising food neophobia, eating a limited variety of food, and other specific features related to food and eating (e.g. low enjoyment of food, slowness in eating, and higher satiety responsiveness). Picky eating has a higher prevalence in preschool children and seems to decrease thereafter. Studies investigating factors influencing the development of picky eating in childhood have examined a range of child factors, parent factors, and parent-child interactions. Only very limited guidance has emerged regarding the management of picky eating.


Picky eating is a descriptive term with greater emerging clarity about its core characteristics and associations. Research remains limited with ongoing difficulties related to lack of standardized assessment measures, and poor ability to differentiate between normal and clinically significant picky eating.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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