Chemosensory abilities in consumers of a western-style diet

Stevenson, Richard J, Boakes, Robert A, Oaten, Megan J, Yeomans, Martin R, Mahmut, Memhet and Francis, Heather M (2016) Chemosensory abilities in consumers of a western-style diet. Chemical Senses, 41 (6). pp. 505-513. ISSN 0379-864X

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Abstract

People vary in their habitual diet and also in their chemosensory abilities. In this study we examined whether consumption of a Western-style diet, rich in saturated fat and added sugar, is associated with either poorer or different patterns of chemosensory perception, relative to people who consume a healthier diet. Participants were selected based on a food frequency questionnaire, which established whether they were likely to consume a diet either higher or lower in saturated fat and added sugar. Eighty-seven participants were tested for olfactory ability (threshold, discrimination, identification), gustatory ability (PROP sensitivity, taste intensity, quality and hedonics), and flavour processing (using dairy fat-sugar-odour mixtures). A Western-style diet was associated with poorer odour identification ability, greater PROP sensitivity, poorer fat discrimination, different patterns of sweetness taste enhancement, and hedonic differences in taste and flavour perception. No differences were evident for odour discrimination or threshold, in perception of taste intensity/quality (excluding PROP) or the ability of fats to affect flavour perception. The significant relationships were of small to moderate effect size, and would be expected to work against consuming a healthier diet. The discussion focuses on whether these diet-related differences precede adoption of a Western-style diet and/or are a consequence of it.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Lene Hyltoft
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2016 09:14
Last Modified: 04 May 2017 09:40
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/62285

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