Picky Eating in Kids Tied to Anxiety, Depression

However, a new study has revealed that picky eating and “selective eating” may be a sign of anxiety and depression in young children. (editor’s note- but which came first? The chicken or the egg?)

The results showed that preschoolers who are severely selective of what they eat, meaning that they dislike even being in close proximity of certain foods, are likely to have underlying symptoms of either depression or anxiety. Based on parents interviews researchers concluded that nearly 18 percent of the children in the study were moderate picky eaters.

Some children who refuse to eat might have heightened senses, causing them to be overwhelmed by the smell, texture and taste of certain foods, she pointed out.

However, a survey two years later by the same authors of 200 respondents found that children with moderate and severe SE were almost twice as likely to go on to develop general and social anxiety disorders.

Dr. Zucker also claimed that the children in question were not just misbehaving kids who refused to eat their broccoli. It seems that children who are consistently fussy eaters and whose eating habits are beginning to cause a problem may have an impairment such as anxiety or even depression.

Picky eating in children is quite widespread to clinicians consider it something normal in the development of preschool-aged children. The study looked at 3,433 children.

Children who have very small appetite could suffer from Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID).

“We need to do a better job of giving advice to these parents”, Nancy Zucker, study co-author and associate professor of psychology at Duke University, told NBC News.

“Hopefully”, Copeland said, “this will raise awareness and help parents feel more comfortable bringing it up, and that physicians need to dig a little deeper before suggesting that they’ll grow out of it and that it’s of no concern”. These children face problems socializing with others and have showed depression and anxiety symptoms. Unfortunately, this was just a matter of time when researchers at Duke University advised parents of picky eaters children to begin their intervention soonest, instead of amending to their children’s anguishes. One is repeated exposure to a new or unwanted food.

Spotting a picky eater is easy for parents to do (we list seven hacks right here), and it could be useful in identifying which children may be at risk for mental health issues. The study would help to determine the issues and how to understand all who are concerned.

 “The issue of constant studies showing that everything is a problem makes for anxiety disorders in parents”.The persons in charge with taking care of the children were questioned regarding the eating habits of the children, home environment and possible psychiatric symptoms.



Erin Elizabeth, is a long time “health nut” with a passion for the healing arts, for nearly 25 years. She is an author, public speaker, and advocate for healthy living. You can get Erin’s book here for free and also watch a short documentary on how she overcame vax injuries, Lyme disease, a significant weight gain, and more. Follow Erin on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.
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