Feeding/Eating Problems in Children Who Refrained From Treatment in the Past: Who Did (Not) Recover?

Eric Dumont*, Anita Jansen, Pieter C. Duker, Daniel Seys, Nick J. Broers, Sandra Mulkens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Young children with disordered feeding may be at increased risk for problematic eating in the future. This retrospective study attempts to identify predictors of later feeding problems.

Objectives: Children (N = 236) with disordered feeding, who refrained from behavioral treatment after consultation at a tertiary treatment center for feeding and eating problems were followed-up after, on average, 6 years and 3 months (timepoint 2).

Method: Logistic regressions were carried out with characteristics taken at intake (timepoint 1)-sex, pre/dysmaturity, gastro-intestinal disease, history of age-adequate feeding, syndrome/developmental impairment, autism spectrum disorder, comorbidity, age, and several variables of a restrictive- and selective food intake-and duration between timepoint 1 and 2, as predictor variables, and age-appropriate food intake at t2 as the dependent variable.

Results: Despite improvement over time, 63% did not reach an age-adequate food intake at t2. Predictors of age-inadequate food intake were: (a) older age; (b) sex (male), (c) longer duration between timepoint 1 and timepoint 2; (d) autism spectrum disorder; (e) selective texture choices and (f) lack of varied nutritional intake.

Conclusion: This study shows that most untreated young children's feeding problems do not improve over years. Besides the advice to seek help at an early age, it seems especially recommended to treat (male) children with autism spectrum disorder and selective feeding patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number860785
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in pediatrics
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2022


  • Avoidant
  • Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
  • behavioral treatment
  • children
  • feeding or eating problems
  • predictors


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