The Clinical Link of Preschoolers’ Picky Eating Behavior with Their Growth, Development, Nutritional Status, and Physical Activity in Iraq/Kurdistan Region

Background: This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of picky eating among preschoolers and to estimate the clinical association between eating behaviour and growth, physical activity, development, and health status. Aims: The purpose of this research study is to identify and investigate the clinical effects of picky eating behavior on preschoolers and school-aged children in terms of physical growth, neurodevelopment, nutrition, and physical activity. Methods: A structured questionnaire was used in this study to conduct a cross-sectional descriptive study of 800 parents of preschoolers aged 2–4 years in Kurdistan/Iraq. Demographics, food preferences, eating behavior, body weight, BMI, height, development, physical activity, and medical illness records were all collected. Data from children classified as picky or non-picky eaters were analyzed and compared using standard statistical tests based on parental questionnaire responses. The children’s average age was 2.85 years, and 620 (77 percent) of the 800 participants were picky eaters. Picky eaters had z-scores of weight-for-age, height-for-age, and body mass index (BMI)-for-age that were 0.91, 0.73, and 0.44 SD lower than non-picky eaters. Picky and non-picky eaters had significantly different rates in the weight-for-age, height-for-age, and BMI-for-age percentiles 15 (P = 0.04, 0.023, and 0.005, respectively). communication such as afraid of unfamiliar places 65% vs 13.3%, afraid of being lonely 14.6% vs 12.1%, poor physical activity 36.8% vs 17.7%, learning disability 16.2% vs 7%, attention deficit 11.8%  Conclusion: Picky eaters were prevalent in preschool children, resulting in significant negative effects on growth, nutritional status, development, physical activity, and health status.vs 4.3%, speech delay 4.6% vs 3.3%, respectively).

Author (S) Details

Khajik Sirob Yaqob Qazaryan
Department of Pediatrics, Child’s Nutrition and Growth, Zakho General Hospital, Iraq.

Saad Kazim Karim
Department of Neurology, Azadi Teaching Hospital, Duhok, Iraq.

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