If you have children, chances are you’ve experienced the frustration of trying to get them to eat dinner. Whether it’s them enjoying throwing their food as high as possible, putting it all over their face or just screaming “NO” at the top of the lungs, it’s a pretty common issue. We tend to place the blame at the feet of the parents’ upbringing, but new science says it might actually be a little bit more out of control than that.
Published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, University College London’s Andrea Smith, who co-led the study, said that “Establishing a substantial genetic influence on both of these traits might be quite a relief to parents as they often feel judged or feel guilty for their children’s fussy eating,”
The researchers found that while the home environment and parent’s behaviour did have a role, in some instances they appeared to be less important than the child’s genetic influences.
“Understanding that these traits are largely innate might help to deflect this blame.”
The study looked at roughly 2,000 sets of 16-month old twins and the factors that influenced whether or not they were fussy eaters. The children were then separated into groups (identical and fraternal twins), and the parents given questionnaires discussing their eating habits.
The researchers found that while the home environment and parent’s behaviour did have a role, in some instances they appeared to be less important than the child’s genetic influences.[shortcode id=”33529″]