5-speed listening (Eating Greens - Level 3)

Study finds why children don't eat their greens



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Everyone knows that many young children don't like eating their greens. Parents have a hard time getting their children to eat vegetables like broccoli and Brussel sprouts. A new study may have an answer about why this is. The study looked at the eating habits of two- to four-year-olds. It found that not liking greens is because of a child's genes. This means parents do not have to stress out over their children not eating enough vegetables. Many parents worry because they cannot get their children to eat healthily. The study found that changes in two genes can make children dislike greens. The changes put some youngsters off trying new food and can turn them into fussy eaters.

The study found that changes in DNA can affect how some small children taste things differently. These children think many green vegetables taste very bitter. Children without the DNA changes do not think these vegetables are bitter. Natasha Cole, a member of an obesity prevention program at Illinois University, said it was not surprising some children have a very sensitive taste. She said this makes them think things like broccoli are bitter. She said the new research could help to find new ways of tackling childhood obesity. Ms Cole says there needs to be more research. She said: "There is a huge gap in the research when children [move] from a milk-based diet to foods that the rest of the family eats."

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