Washington D.C: According to a new research, anxious and depressed parents are more likely to have children, who are picky eaters.
The study found that parental anxiety and/or depression during pregnancy and before their child starts school is linked to a heightened risk of that child becoming a 'fussy' eater.
The associations were evident for mums at both time periods, but just during the pre-school period for dads, the findings indicate.
Fussy eating behaviour, which is characterised by the consistent rejection of particular foods, is common in childhood and a frequent source of concern for parents, say the researchers.
It has been associated with constipation, weight problems and behavioural issues in the child. And it's been linked to postnatal anxiety and depression in mums.
The study, which was based on 4746 mother and child pairs and 4144 dads, whose children had all been born between 2002 and 2006, found that by the age of three, 30 percent of children were deemed to be fussy eaters.
Each additional point the mums scored on the anxiety scale in pregnancy was associated with an extra point on the score denoting fussy eating in their child. Among the dads, only anxiety during the preschool period was associated with fussy eating in their child.
Meanwhile depressive symptoms in both parents during pregnancy and three years later were also linked to fussy eating in children, they found. The researchers did not find out what precisely was behind the link
The researchers wrote that clinicians should be aware that not only severe anxiety and depression, but also milder forms of internalising problems can affect child eating behaviour.
The study is published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood....