Eat something will you!
September 1, 2007 Leave a comment
In perhaps the least surprising Science news in the Greene household this week, scientists have revealed that being a picky eater appears to be largely in one's genes:
Journal of Clinical Nutrition, neophobia – or the fear of new foods
- is mostly in the genes.
Wardle and colleagues asked the parents of 5,390 pairs of
identical and non-identical twins to complete a questionnaire on
their children's' willingness to try new foods.
Identical twins, who share all genes, were much more likely to
respond the same way to new foods than non-identical twins, who
like other siblings only share about half their genes. Researchers
concluded that genetics played a greater role in determining eating
preferences than environment – since each pair of twins lived in
the same household.
Wardle said food preferences appear to be “as inheritable a
physical characteristic as height.”
I am a notoriously picky eater (much to the amusement of my friends) and Kim is reasonable, but certainly has some picky traits. The results is three kids who sometimes seem like they won't eat anything. About once a month all five of us manage to eat the same thing for dinner and it seems like the parting of the Red Sea.
Interestingly, my pickiness is not shared at all by my parents or siblings. So, it was my actual early life experiences, or a recessive gene that manifested. Either way, it has been very much to my mother's dismay, so I loved this quote from the article:
“Children could actually blame their mothers for this,” said
Dr. Jane Wardle, director of the Health Behavior Unit at University
College London, one of the study's authors.
Of course, since my mom likes to blame me for my kids' pickiness, she's right, but I think I'll argue that its not my fault, its just her genes I'm passing on.