Overcoming picky eating. Eating enjoyment as a central aspect of children’s eating behaviors
van der Horst K.
Appetite. 2012 Apr;58(2):567-74. Epub 2012 Jan 4.
Picky eating is a relatively common problem during childhood, and parents lack clear strategies with which to decrease picky eating. This study examined whether increasing eating enjoyment and cooking enjoyment might give opportunities to decrease picky eating. Parents (n=305), mainly mothers with children between 6 and 12years of age (53.8% boys; 46.2% girls), completed a questionnaire on pressure and restriction, eating enjoyment, and picky eating, and cooking enjoyment. Path analyses were performed to examine the mediating role of eating enjoyment. The final model provided a good fit to the data and explained 33% variance in picky eating. A strong inverse association between eating enjoyment and picky eating was found (β=-.44). Significant direct effects were found between cooking enjoyment and picky eating (β=-.16) and restriction and picky eating (β=.18). Eating enjoyment partly mediated the association between cooking enjoyment and picky eating. Results showed pressure had only an indirect effect on picky eating through eating enjoyment. Eating enjoyment serves as an important and central factor in children’s picky-eating behavior. High controlling practices might create a negative environment around food and healthy eating and so decrease eating enjoyment and increase picky eating
Source: ETH Zurich, Institute for Environmental Decisions (IED), Consumer Behavior, Universitaetstrasse Zurich, Switzerland.
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