Children hesitant to try new food may suffer from anguish, anxiety

Washington D.C., Aug 27 : Researchers have claimed that children who experience dietary neophobia, display signs of anguish and anxiety, and added that this behaviour could turn into a habit in adulthood.

In the study, Edurne Maiz Polytechnic University of Valencia used questionnaires on infant neophobia in which the participants were asked about whether they were prepared to eat new foodstuffs.

From various data gathered, researcher explained that they have found statistically significant differences in many variables.

The neophobic participants displayed a lower quality index in terms of the Mediterranean diet, and this was mainly due to the reduced consumption of fruit and vegetables and an increase in foods regarded as being for occasional consumption.

In the research, the neophobic children reported that their parents use the parental feeding style known as stimulation and less control than the parents of neophilic children.

The data lead one to understand that both in childhood and adolescence, the neophobes were more anxious than the neophiliacs. Likewise, with respect to self-esteem, neophobes scored in childhood less than the neophiliacs in the five dimensions studied within self-concept and in adolescence their scores in family and physical self-concept were lower.

Maiz said that to avoid this problem it was important for there to be a strong parental bond with the child, and recommended having a relaxed, pleasant atmosphere at mealtimes.

The study is published in the Journal Revista Espanola de Nutricion Comunitaria. (ANI)