USA: browbeating picky eaters makes no difference to behaviour or weight

03 October 2018

Pressuring fussy children to eat food they dislike does not change their behaviour or their weight, a study has found.

Researchers at the University of Michigan examined associations between picky eating and pressured feeding, and measured weight-for-length across children at 21, 27 and 33 months.

Co-author Julie Lumeng said: ‘Over a year of life in toddlerhood, weight remained stable on the growth chart whether they were picky eaters or not. The kids’ picky eating also was not very changeable. It stayed the same whether parents pressured their picky eaters or not. There was no link between pressuring and picky eating and any of these other outcomes.’

The study appeared in Appetite journal.