It is said that the habits acquired in childhood are the strongest and those that last a lifetime, hence a recent study aimed to know if there is a continuity in eating behaviors and if childhood habits predict the risk of eating disorders in adolescence.
The eating behaviors of children continue towards adolescence
Depending on the family environment, customs, emotions, needs and others, children acquire certain habits from when they start eating solid and until about 6 years of age.
These habits apparently could have continuity towards adolescence (and later), being, therefore, predictors of eating disorders.
Thus, the research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry that evaluated more than 4500 children, observed a relationship between eating habits that occurred in the first 10 years of life and the presence of eating disorders at 16 years of age.
That is, it was concluded that children who ate in excess were more likely to suffer from binge eating and binge eating disorder in adolescence. While children who ate little and the most selective at mealtime were at greater risk of suffering from anorexia.
Although the study was conducted by data reported by parents during children’s childhood and later, related to anthropometric data and diagnoses of eating disorders in adolescence, we can certainly say that the habits of the children are key since it is since very Children form the relationship with food and, as a result, develop specific eating behaviors.
So, as adults we have to foster a healthy relationship with food, not forcing or forbidding when eating and respecting self-control or feelings of hunger and satiety manifested by children.