Study links picky eating habits to risk for depression, anxiety

(CNN) – Many families have picky eaters, but a small number of them are extremely picky eaters. Doctors say it’s not just about eating something new, it has real health implications.

For Cara and Louis Amo, getting their six year old son Trey to eat a snack seemed more like a game of 20 questions.

“That’s’ when we began to hear a lot of kids go through this and then they grow out of it. Toddlers are busy. They are not going to starve themselves; that was the advice we were getting.”

And for some parents of picky eaters the ‘just wait’ advice is good advice. But Trey’s case was different. This type of very limited eating put Trey in a group known as severely selective eaters. Only about three percent of kids are this selective when it comes to food.

“This is not a control battle these kids gag when they taste new food they have a genuine disgust reaction to some of the smells of things.”

A recent study by Duke University shows a link between selective eaters and mental health: these kids are twice as likely as other children to develop emotional problems like depression or anxiety over time.

“It’s just something we can have in our back pocket something we can just be aware of over time.”

Copyright 2015 CNN

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