Young adult nutrition and weight correlates of picky eating during childhood

Megan H. Pesch, Katherine W. Bauer, Mary J. Christoph, Nicole Larson, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To identify whether picky eating during childhood is associated with dietary intake, weight status and disordered eating behaviour during young adulthood.Design: A population-based study using data from young adults who responded online or by mail to the third wave of the Project EAT (Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults) study in 2008-2009. Participants retrospectively reported the extent to which they were a picky eater in childhood, sociodemographic characteristics, disordered eating behaviours, usual dietary intake, and weight and height.Setting: Participants were initially recruited in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area of Minnesota, USA, in 1998-1999.Participants: The analytic sample included 2275 young adults (55 % female, 48 % non-Hispanic White, mean age 25·3 (sd 1·6) years).Results: Young adults who reported picky eating in childhood were found to currently have lower intakes of fruit, vegetables and whole grains, and more frequent intakes of snack foods, sugar-sweetened beverages and foods from fast-food restaurants. No associations were observed between picky eating in childhood and young adults' weight status, use of weight-control strategies or report of binge eating.Conclusions: While young adults who report picky eating during childhood are not at higher risk for disordered eating, those who were picky eaters tend to have less healthy dietary intake. Food preferences and dietary habits established by picky eaters during childhood may persist into adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)987-995
Number of pages9
JournalPublic health nutrition
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support: This work was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (D.N.-S., grant numbers R01HL084064 and R35HL139853); and the American Heart Association (M.H.P., grant number 17FTF33630183). The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association had no role in the design, analysis or writing of this article.

Funding Information:
Financial support: This work was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (D.N.-S., grant numbers R01HL084064 and R35HL139853); and the American Heart Association (M.H.P., grant number 17FTF33630183). The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association had no role in the design, analysis or writing of this article. Conflict of interest: None. Authorship: D.N.-S. conceived of the overall study which provided the source of data and N.L. managed the collection of data. M.H.P., K.W.B., M.J.C., N.L. and D.N.-S. designed this specific study and formulated the research questions. M.J.C. conducted the data analysis and contributed to drafting of the manuscript. M.H.P. and K.W.B. conducted literature searches and interpreted the data with N.L., D.N.-S. and M.J.C. M.H.P. and K.W.B. drafted the manuscript. All authors contributed to and approved the final manuscript. Ethics of human subject participation: This study was conducted according to the guidelines laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki and all procedures involving human subjects were approved by the University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board. Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Authors 2019.

Keywords

  • Child
  • Dietary variety
  • Picky eating
  • Young adult

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