AUSTIN (KXAN) — New research examines why kids are picky eaters. Researchers found that kids who are extremely selective at meal-time could be suffering from a psychological disorder.
The study makes it clear it is normal for a child to like one food one day and hate it the next. Researchers studied the small percentage of children who only consume a variety of four to five foods total growing up.
University of Pennsylvania student, Corey Fader, still experiences intense anxiety when faced with a plate other than very specific kinds of pizza, pastas or chicken fingers.
“A lot of people say just eat it, you know, and they make it sound simple, why don’t you just pick something up and eat it,” said Fader. “But it’s like, if I could just eat it, I can promise you I would have done it by now.”
Duke Medicine Researchers found that kids who were extremely restricted in their diets were more likely to be diagnosed with depression or social anxiety.
Dr. Nacy Zucker, Duke Center for Eating Disorders, suggested these picky eaters are sensitive not only to the external world, but also to what’s going on in their own bodies.
“These are just sensitive kids. They see things more intently, they feel things more deeply, and that’s both in their own internal experience and the world around them,” said Dr. Zucker.
Fader said he is trying many different types of therapy to overcome his food aversions.
“My goal is to be able to get to a point where I can fit in socially. I can go out with my friends,” said Fader. “I can go out on dates and really not have any problems with it.”
Researchers concluded that early intervention in eating habits could be the key to getting kids the most effective therapies possible.