Background/Aims: Picky eating is prevalent among preschoolers and is associated with risk of both underweight and overweight. Although differences in taste perception may be due to genetic variation, it is unclear whether these variations are related to picky eating behavior. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of 6 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 5 candidate genes related to chemosensory perception with picky eating behavior and adiposity in a cohort of preschool-aged children. Methods: Parents of 2- to 5-year-old non-Hispanic white preschoolers (n = 153) responded to survey questions on demographics, and information regarding their child's breastfeeding history and picky eating behavior. Height and weight were measured to calculate body mass index (BMI) z-scores using standard growth charts, and saliva was collected for genotyping. Generalized linear models were used to examine associations between picky eating behavior and BMI z-scores with genetic variation. Results: When controlling for child age, sex, breastfed status, and parent education level, SNPs in TAS2R38 (rs713598) and CA6 (rs2274327) were associated with picky eating behavior in children. There was no association between SNPs and BMI z-scores. Conclusion: Genes related to chemosensory perception may play a role in children's picky eating behavior.

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