People Who Can't Taste Fat More Likely to Gain Weight
The study, conducted by scientists at the Deakin's Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, adds weight to a number of studies that link altered taste perceptions to obesity. Previously, University at Buffalo researchers had found that mice that couldn't detect sweet or bitter taste in foods were more likely to eat more than others.
In the present study, the team found that people who can't taste fat in food tended to eat more at lunch despite eating a heavy breakfast. "These results suggest that the ability to taste fat is linked with the fullness experienced from fat," explained Deakin's Professor Russell Keast.
"If you do not taste fat or experience the fullness associated with eating fatty food, you are likely to be more hungry and consume more energy after an earlier fatty meal. And as we know overconsumption of foods, particularly fatty foods, is associated with people being overweight or obese," Keast said in a news release.
For the study, 24 participants were given high fat, high carbohydrate, high protein breakfast. Then, at lunch, they were offered a buffet-style lunch. Researchers then measured participants' calorie intake. Researchers found that people who ate more fatty foods had taste buds that were less sensitive to fat.
"Through this latest study we now see that low sensitivity to fat taste impairs the body's ability to register the fullness signals that would normally come from eating fatty foods," said Keast in a news release, "The evidence is therefore building that increasing fat taste sensitivity in those who are insensitive is required as one way to address the growing obesity problem."