Tags: obesity | taste | buds | eating

Obesity Blunts Taste Buds: Study

Friday, 21 Sep 2012 03:01 PM


Obese children have less sensitive taste buds than their normal-weight peers, which may be a contributing factor to overeating, according to new research.
The findings, reported in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, suggest at least some overweight people may eat more quantities of food in an attempt to feel satisfied.
The study found obesity hinders the ability to identify all five tastes – bitter, sweet, salty, sour, and umami (savory).
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To reach their conclusions, researchers tested 94 normal-weight and 99 obese children – aged 6 to 18 years – who were in good health and not taking any medications known to affect taste and smell. Every child was tested using 22 "taste strips" placed on the tongue, including each of the five taste sensations, at four different levels of intensity, plus two blank strips.
The results showed obese children found it significantly more difficult to identify the different taste sensations than kids of normal weight. And while all of the children correctly identified the differing levels of sweetness, obese kids rated three out of the four intensity levels lower than kids of normal weight.
Similarly, children of normal weight were better able to distinguish the different taste sensations, with girls and older children better at picking out the right tastes.
Researchers said it’s unclear what accounts for the differences in taste perceptions, but genes, hormones, acculturation, and exposure to different tastes early in life are all likely factors.
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Obese kids have less sensitive taste buds than their normal-weight peers, which may contributie to overeating.
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2012-01-21
Friday, 21 Sep 2012 03:01 PM
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