Thursday, 21 June 2012

A Matter of Taste?

 James Mitchell Crow writes in Nature that,
  • 'What is strongly associated with obesity is not the consumption of carbo-hydrates or sweets — it is the consumption of fat'
And taste it seems, is a burgeoning area of obesity research:
  • What does chocolate ice-cream taste like? A simple enough question, you might think: sweet and creamy, with a slightly bitter cocoa kick. Delve a bit deeper, though, and the exercise becomes impossibly subjective, because what you taste when you eat ice-cream is not the same as the next person's experience. Your tongue and your taste buds are unique, and a sweet taste that seems strong to you might be almost undetectable to someone else. 
    Perhaps more importantly, individuals also vary greatly in how pleasurable and satiating they find ice-cream, or any number of other foods. Could someone's taste perceptions and preferences be a major influence on their weight? 
    The emergence of obesity as the world's largest preventable health disorder gives urgency to this question. Although the drivers of obesity are far more complex than simply a sweet tooth, study after study suggests that shifting taste preferences are a big part of the puzzle. The latest findings are forcing us to fundamentally re-examine our understanding of taste perception itself.
One of the latest ideas is that we can become desensitised to sweet tastes.  There is some evidence emerging that in a fashion, we can also taste 'fat',
  • "We still cannot claim that fat is a basic taste, but within the limitations that we do know, the relationship between taste perception and obesity is strongest with fat."
It is suggested that the obese are inclined to towards sweet and typically fat foods - but the underlying desire is for 'fat'.

Butter anyone?  Also, ever wondered why if you charge up on food, you don't go longer until your next refuelling point?  That seems to be how I operate - but then I eat a realfood (paleo) diet.

Of course some still blame 'sloth and gluttony'.  You read it here first fat people.

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