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Selective Eating Habit in Kids an Anxiety Indicator


A new study reveals that children with moderate and severe picky eating habits may be at increased risk for depression and anxiety, reported New York Times

The study also shows that one fifth of the children between two to six years of age are selective in their eating habits. The study appeared in the journal Pediatrics and was conducted on 917 children between 2 and 6 years.

"The children we are talking about are not just misbehaving kids who refuse to eat their broccoli," study lead author Nancy Zucker, of the Duke University School of Medicine, told the Times.

Children with such eating habits may be suffering from a eating disorder called Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), the study said.

"Impairment can take many different forms. It can affect the child's health, growth, social functioning, and the parent-child relationship. The child can feel like no one believes them, and parents can feel blamed for the problem," Zucker told the Times.

The study pointed out that children with moderate picky eating are vulnerable to anxiety, depression and ADH, while children with severe selective eating are seven times more likely to have social anxiety.

The study also noted that certain children have develop anxiety if forced to try a food with which they have had an earlier bad experience or even when trying a new food item.

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