Picky eating in Swedish preschoolers of different weight status: application of two new screening cut-offs.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Characteristics of picky eaters of different weight status have not been sufficiently investigated. We used two newly developed screening cut-offs for picky eating in the Food fussiness (FF) subscale of the Child Eating Behavior Questionnaire (CEBQ) to investigate the prevalence and characteristics of picky eaters in preschool-aged children with thinness, normal weight, overweight or obesity. METHODS:Data for 1272 preschoolers (mean age 4.9 years) were analyzed. The parent-reported FF subscale ranges from 1 to 5, and two screening cut-offs were applied to classify children as picky eaters (3.0 and 3.33). Structural Equation Modeling was used to study associations with other factors in the CEBQ, the Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFQ) and the Lifestyle Behavior Checklist (LBC). Scores were compared separately for each weight status group. RESULTS:Nearly half of the children were classified as moderate or severe picky eaters (cut-off 3.0) and 30% as severe (cut-off 3.33). For both cut-offs, prevalence was significantly lower in the obesity group. Still, one-third of children with obesity met the cut-off of 3.0 and 17% met the cut-off of 3.33. While picky eaters displayed similar patterns across weight status groups, some differences emerged. Food responsiveness was lower for picky eaters, but the difference was significant only among children with obesity. Slowness in eating was not as pronounced among picky eaters in the obesity group. In the overweight and obesity groups, parents of picky eaters did not report as high pressure to eat, as compared to the thinness or normal weight groups; in the obesity group, parents of picky eaters also perceived their children's weight as lower. In all weight status groups, parents of picky eaters were more likely to report their children had too much screen time, complained about physical activity, and expressed negative affect toward food. CONCLUSIONS:Picky eating was less common but still prevalent among children with obesity. Future studies should investigate the potential influence of picky eating on childhood overweight and obesity. Moreover, as children with picky eating display higher emotional sensitivity, further research is needed to understand how to create positive eating environments particularly for children with picky eating and obesity.
PROVIDER: S-EPMC6085619 | BioStudies |