Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.46(5) > 1081308

J Nutr Health. 2013 Oct;46(5):418-426. Korean.
Published online October 31, 2013.  https://doi.org/10.4163/jnh.2013.46.5.418
© 2013 The Korean Nutrition Society
Association between picky eating behaviors and growth in preschool children
Jae Eun Shim,1 Ji Hyun Yoon,2,3 Kijoon Kim,2,4 and Hee Young Paik2,3
1Department of Food and Nutrition, Daejeon University, Daejeon 300-716, Korea.
2Department of Food and Nutrition, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.
3Research Institute of Human Ecology, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.
4BOM Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. (Email: hypaik@snu.ac.kr )
Received August 20, 2013; Revised September 09, 2013; Accepted October 08, 2013.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Abstract

This study was conducted in order to investigate the association between picky eating behaviors of preschool children and growth outcomes. In this study, picky eating behaviors were defined as containing four constructs of 'eating a small amount (ES),' 'neophoic behavior (NB),' 'refusal of specific food groups (RF),' and 'preference for specific food-preparation methods (PP).' A 7-point scale was used for the multi-item questionnaire, which consisted of 21 items (three items for ES, two items for NB, nine items for RF, and seven items for PP), in order to evaluate picky eating behaviors of children. Subjects were recruited among visitors at a medical clinic in Seoul. A total of 150 self-administered survey responses from parents of preschool children were analyzed in order to investigate the association between picky eating behaviors of preschool children and growth outcomes. Height for age (HFA) and weight for height (WFH) z-scores were used for assessment of preschool children's growth. The prevalence of ES, NB, RF, and PP was 44%, 57%, 73%, and 53%, respectively. Children with ES had lower HFA (p < 0.05) and WFH (p < 0.0001) than those without ES, while children with NB, RF, or PP had HFA and WFH were similar to their counterparts. The mean HFA z-score of children with ES was less than 0 (p < 0.05) and the mean WFH z-scores of children with ES, NB, RF, or PP were less than 0 (p < 0.05). According to the study results, related growth outcome differed depending on constructs of picky eating behaviors. In particular, picky eating of ES showed a risk of faltering height growth in preschool children. Further comprehensive studies on the reason for ES and intervention approach is warranted.

Keywords: picky eating; preschool children; growth faltering

Tables


Table 1
Concept and constructs of picky eating behavior and questions used to measure each construct
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Table 2
Selected characteristics of subjects (n = 150)
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Table 3
Mean scores of picky eating constructs and prevalence of picky eaters (n = 150)
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Table 4
Comparison of growth status between picky eaters and non-picky eaters (n = 150)
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Notes

This research was supported by a grant of Daejeon University in 2012.

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