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One of the goals of this study was to measure the impact of a child’s eating habits on a family’s level of stress related to meal times in the home.
A cross-sectional survey study was conducted on 1,090 children between the ages of three and six years, in Madrid, Spain from 2010 to 2011. Questionnaires about the child’s eating habits, family stress, and medical history, along with a three-day food record were filled out by parents.
Levels of family stress related to meal time occasions were statistically higher in the picky eater (PE) group compared to the healthy eater (HE) group (p=0.007).
This study demonstrates a possible relationship between picky eating behaviors and family stress in the home. Higher levels of family stress can have long-term negative behavioral consequences or changes on the family dynamic, which may further exacerbate feeding disorders.