Brown, Steven (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
To date, no studies have directly examined the rejection of known and previously accepted foods. However, studies investigating ‘picky’ eating, including the rejection of new and known foods, have shown that children labelled ‘picky’ are likely to have a more unhealthy diet. As a result, increased understanding as to why known and previously accepted foods are rejected may allow for interventions and improved health via increased dietary variety. The current thesis considered the prevalence of the rejection of previously accepted food in pre-school children and sought to test two hypotheses; (i) that previously accepted food may be categorised as ‘new’, due to perceptual changes between servings, and rejected in a neophobic response. And (ii) that a perceptual, food based disgust may be a motivation for the rejection of previously accepted foods. It was further proposed that food neophobia would be the catalyst for these rejections. The data presented suggests that the rejection of previously accepted food is a common occurrence in pre-school children and provides some evidence that the categorisation of food and disgust may influence these rejections. The thesis provides the theoretical arguments for the hypotheses, questionnaire data, and experimental data from methodologies developed for the studies presented.
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