Food and Behaviour Research

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Carbohydrate Taste Sensitivity Is Associated with Starch Intake and Waist Circumference in Adults

Low JYQ, Lacy KE, McBride RL, Keast RSJ (2017) J.Nutr Oct 2017 147; 10 doi: 10.3945/​jn.117.254078 

Web URL: Read the abstract on here


Background: Recent studies have proposed that humans may perceive complex carbohydrates and that sensitivity to simple carbohydrates is independent of sensitivity to complex carbohydrates. Variation in oral complex carbohydrate sensitivity may influence food consumption.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the associations between oral complex carbohydrate sensitivity, anthropometry, and dietary intake in adults.

Methods: We assessed oral sensitivity to complex carbohydrates (maltodextrin and oligofructose) by measuring detection thresholds (DTs) and suprathreshold intensity perceptions (STs) for 34 participants, including 16 men (mean ± SEM age : 26.2 ± 0.4 y; range: 24–30 y) and 18 women (age: 29.4 ± 2.1 y; range: 24–55 y). We also measured height, weight, and waist circumference (WC) and participants completed a 4-d food diary and a food-frequency questionnaire.

Results: Measurements of oral sensitivity to complex carbohydrates were significantly correlated with WC and dietary energy and starch intakes (DT: r = –0.38, P < 0.05; ST: r = 0.36–0.48, P < 0.05). When participants were grouped into tertiles, there were significant differences in WC and total energy or starch intakes for those who were more sensitive or experienced high intensity compared with those who were less sensitive or experienced low intensity. Being more sensitive or experiencing high intensity was associated with greater energy (7968–8954 kJ/d) and starch (29.1–29.8% of energy) intakes and a greater WC (88.2–91.4 cm) than was being less sensitive or experiencing low intensity (6693–7747 kJ/d, 20.9–22.2% of energy, and 75.5–80.5 cm, respectively).

Conclusion: Complex carbohydrate sensing is associated with WC and consumption of complex carbohydrates and energy in adults.


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