Does body size affect sweetness thresholds and perception and liking of a food product in normal weight women
LE3 .A278 2010
Bachelor of Science
Nutrition & Dietetics
The recent worldwide obesity pandemic has created a tremendous focus on research involving sweetness perception, specifically in the area of the relationship between body size and sweetness thresholds. The purpose of this research was to determine if a relationship exists between women of a healthy BMI and various measures of sweetness perception ( ie. thresholds, and liking and intensity of sweetness of a food product). Fifty-one female participants were recruited from the University of Guelph and Acadia University campuses and placed into groups based on grams of sugar consumption, frequency of consumption, < 22.9% and ≥ 23.0% body fat composition, 18.5- 21.5 and 21.6- 24.9 BMI groups and < 75 cm and ≥ 75 cm waist circumference groups. Recognition thresholds for all participants were determined using the forced choice method of threshold testing with sucrose solutions. Participants also rated four different samples of custard for their liking of the sweetness in the sample, as well as their perceived sweetness of the sample. The participants were also grouped into taster status groups using 6- n- propylthiouracil as a marker. The data were analyzed to compare sweetness liking with body size, including WC, BMI and body fat. Data analysis showed there was no significant relationship between body size and sweetness thresholds, nor perceived sweetness and sweetness liking and body fat groups. This indicates that added sugar consumption may not be a significant determinant affecting variation in an individual’s body weight. However, future research may be helpful in using thresholds and liking and perceived sweetness as predictors for obesity.
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