Nature and nurture both play a role in developing fussy eaters says new research New research suggests that parents could play two roles in influencing their childrens eating habits, by both passing on their genetic makeup and serving as role models of eating behaviour. If we ask ourselves, Are fussy eaters born that way or do they learn it in the environment? the answer is yes, both are true, says Myles Faith from the University of Buffalo, co-author of the two new studies, published in the journal Eating Behaviors and the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition. Faith believes the examples set by parents, and other caregivers, are particularly important for children who show higher emotional distress or difficult temperament when eating as these children are more likely to have a higher Body Mass Index through age 6. Children do not want to be difficult when it comes to food, so parents need to be more understanding, says study. Parents may need a bit more understanding and patience when introducing foods to fussy or picky eaters, says Faith, The children really arent intending to be difficult. Being fussy seems to be their nature around new foods, and it can be quite distressing for them if they are overly forced, pressured or coerced. This can backfire and lead to greater frustration.