關鍵詞： 橫斷面研究; 流行病學; 飲食文化; 測量品味素質; 超重和肥胖; 感官味覺; 苦味; 味咸; 甜味; 鮮味
Sensory taste preferences and taste sensitivity and the association of unhealthy food patterns with overweight and obesity in primary school children in Europe—a synthesis of data from the IDEFICS study
Corresponding author: Wolfgang Ahrens firstname.lastname@example.org
The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at: http://www.flavourjournal.com/content/4/1/8
Increased preference for fat and sugar or reduced taste sensitivity may play a role in overweight and obesity development, but sensory perceptions are probably influenced already during childhood by food cultures and common dietary habits. We summarise the main findings of a large-scale epidemiological study conducted in Italy, Estonia, Cyprus, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, Hungary and Spain. We measured the taste preferences and the taste thresholds in 1,839 children aged 6 to 9 years and investigated factors that might influence the observed preferences as well as their association with weight status.
Country of residence was the strongest factor related to preferences for sweet, salty, bitter and umami. Taste preferences also differed by age. Regardless of the country of residence and other covariates, overweight and obesity were positively associated with the preference for fat-enriched crackers and sugar-sweetened apple juice.
We conclude that culture and age are important determinants of taste preferences in pre-adolescent children. The cross-sectional data show that objectively measured taste preferences are associated with the weight status of primary school children across varying food cultures. We hypothesise that this association is mediated by an unfavourable food choice as a food pattern characterised by sweet and fatty foods is associated with excess weight gain in these children.
Keywords: Cross-sectional study; Epidemiology; Food culture; Measurement of taste qualities; Overweight and obesity; Sensory taste perception; Bitter taste; Salty taste; Sweet taste; Umami taste