Myles Faith, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, and colleagues published new research in the March 21, 2013, issue of the journal Obesity that is the first to show a genetic link in young children's resistance and acceptance of new foods.
“The study looked at 66 pairs of twins between ages 4 and 7 years old, and found that genes explain 72 percent of the variation among children in the tendency to avoid new foods, while the rest was influenced by environment.” Previous research has demonstrated the same relationship in children aged eight to eleven at a 78 percent level.
The research suggests the genetic link is constant across the developmental age range of children.
The researchers also observed that children who were picky eaters had a higher potential for being fat or obese only if their parents were fat or obese.
To overcome the picky eater you may have the researchers suggest considering each child as an individual with different food idiosyncrasies and presenting the child with an assortment of different foods that may tempt their developing palate. Being a role model in consuming healthier different foods is also suggested.
Since food likes and dislikes have been determined to be genetic, a parent may wish to review and evaluate their own food idiosyncrasies as a child and as an adult in order to overcome their child’s resistance to more healthy food options