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Issue 474, 3 December 2001

A question of taste

Taste is not the main reason we choose what type of food we eat, according to new research by psychobiologist Professor John Blundell and physiologist Dr John Cooling. Two groups of people one which ate a high-fat and the other a low-fat diet were asked to taste solutions containing different combinations of sugar and fat and their preferences monitored.

Professor Blundell said: "We found that their oro-sensory response how the food feels in their mouths was the same, showing that their food selection wasn't determined by a preference for fat, but by other factors such as genes or social environment. We're also interested in the effects these choices have, and are looking particularly at people who eat a high-fat diet, but don't put on weight."

The research is part of a six-country consortium on diet and weight gain in Europe and the full results have been published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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