A recent study has published findings that may find a correlation between the sensitivity of a child's taste buds and their risk of obesity.
German researchers have reported findings that obese children have less sensitive taste buds than their normal weight counterparts.
The researchers studied 193 healthy children whose ages ranged from 6-18. For the study researchers placed taste strips that represented five different kinds of taste including sweet, sour, salty, umami (savory) and bitter. There were four different levels of intensity plus two strips that had no taste.
Obese kids had a significantly lower score of 12.6 compared to a score of 14 from the normal weight kids. Which means the obese kids had a harder time distinguishing between tests.
Here's what the report said:
"For example, the hormone leptin is associated with hunger, fat storage and the ability to taste sweet things. Obese people may be less sensitive to its daily cycles. Also, if the level of insulin circulating in the blood stream remains consistently elevated for long periods of time, as it does in many obese people, it could weaken the cells’ receptors to the hormone, which in turn could mute taste sensitivity."
If there is a correlation between less sensitive taste buds and childhood obesity - research could help parents in helping children whom are more at risk to obesity to create strategies that focus on mindful eating and taste preferences rather than calorie counting.