Nothing brings greater contentment in life than eating a tasty meal. Sorrow, stress and anxiety are a part of life that cannot be avoided but satisfying your taste buds helps us forget about any of it during that time period and sometimes even brings about more energy and a new sense of rejuvenation. Such is the power of food. Isn’t it common to see parents bribing their kids by offering them tasty treats as rewards? Such food rewards can bring upon dangerous health consequences in people and obesity is one of the biggest public health hazards. There are multiple reasons behind the widespread prevalence of obesity rates including haphazard lifestyle practices, inappropriate eating habits and exercise schedules. Though there are numerous causes it is well-known that food consumption habits and decisions play an important role in what to eat and how much to eat.
Taste is a great way of attracting peoples’ attention making them eat more and more food. but not all of us have the same taste-some like it sweet, some like it salty and there are few who like it spicy-depending on the taste buds and the proteins on the taste buds that occupy a definite place in our tongue. Read more about taste and how obesity can affect taste response at www.firsteatright.com. Though there are no differences in taste perceptions between normal and overweight individuals a study has found that obese people have greater initial taste perceptions that was greater than participants who were not obese and this declined at a more gradual rate than participants who were not obese. The sight of cake or burger seems alluring and the first bite seems heavenly but as you keep eating the charm of the food keeps decreasing. You don’t find the satisfaction of the first bite to exist at the same level through the tenth bite as well.
Consumption of more food leads to diminishing marginal taste perceptions and to find whether this differed between individuals based on their weight a group of researchers conducted a trial with 290 adults (161 had normal BMI, 78 were overweight and 51 were obese) each of whom were offered a piece of chocolate one at a time. They could eat as many as they wanted to without any restriction. Each of them consumed anywhere between 2 and 51 chocolates. It was observed that the rating of the chocolate went down with each additional piece of it consumed with no difference in taste perception between normal and overweight participants. Those who were hungrier before the study had greater taste perception and women’s taste perception declined faster than men. It was seen that obese people reported a higher satisfaction level for every additional piece of chocolate consumed compared to nonobese people showing that their taste perception is different from others. Obese individuals need to consume a greater quantity of food to experience a decline in taste perception-for instance, they ate 12.5 pieces of chocolates compared to 10 pieces eaten by normal participants before reaching satiety levels- a difference of almost 70 calories higher. This stands crucial in the case of obese individuals as they are unknowingly adding greater weight to their body. Manipulating taste perceptions is definitely needed to fix obesity problems in them
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.