Frequency and correlates of picky eating and overeating in school-aged children: a Portuguese population-based study

Bárbara Cesar Machado*, Pedro Dias, Vânia Sousa Lima, Alexandra Carneiro, Sónia Gonçalves

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Using the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) battery in a non-clinical Portuguese population-based study, we aimed to examine a broad spectrum of emotional and behavioral problems and competencies, including picky eating and overeating behaviors in children and youth. Overall, 2687 children from 6 to 18 years old were evaluated by their parents, teachers and, in the case of children older than 11 years old, by themselves. Picky eating and overeating were assessed using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and Youth Self Report (YSR). The frequency of picky eating and overeating was 23.1% and 24%, respectively. Picky eaters, compared with over eaters and non-picky/non-over eaters, tended to belong to the younger group of participants, and in turn, over eaters tended to belong to the older group. Overeating was significantly associated with overweight, which also emerged as a predictor of belonging to the overeating group. Both picky eaters and over eaters scored significantly higher on all emotional and behavioral problems and DSM-5-oriented subscales. The results of two independent binary logistic regression analyses indicated that internalizing and externalizing problems, together with the total problems score emerged as a predictor for both groups, including picky eater and overeater school-aged children. In accordance with previous studies, our results also supported the possibility that a broader pattern of potentially non-adaptive emotional and behavioral problems could also be associated with both pickiness and excessive eating.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1198-1213
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • Correlates
  • Emotional and behavioral problems
  • Overeating
  • Picky eating
  • School-aged children

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