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Study Finds That Obese Children Find It Difficult To Identify Specific Tastes

September 20, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers who studied 94 normal weight and 99 obese, but otherwise healthy, children 6 to 18 years old found that obese children had a harder time identifying specific tastes, probably because their taste buds were less sensitive. The taste sensitivity of each child was tested using 22 "taste strips" placed on the tongue. Strips included the five taste sensations, at four different levels of intensity, plus two blank strips. Obese children had particular difficulty in identifying salty, umami, and bitter tastes. Obese kids also rated three out of the four intensity levels lower than kids of normal weight.
Johanna Overberg et al., "Differences in taste sensitivity between obese and non-obese children and adolescents", Archives of Disease in Childhood, September 20, 2012, © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
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