Dietary fat restriction increases fat taste sensitivity in people with obesity

Author: Newman, L.P.; Bolhuis, D.P.; Torres, S.J.; Keast, R.S.J.

Description: OBJECTIVE: Individuals with obesity may be less sensitive to the taste of fat, and it is hypothesized that this is due to excess dietary fat intake. This study assessed the effect of a 6-week low-fat (LF) or portion control (PC) diet matched for weight loss on fat taste thresholds, fat perception, and preference in people with overweight/obesity.

METHODS: Participants (n = 53) completed a randomized dietary intervention and consumed either a LF diet (25% fat) or PC diet (33% fat) for 6 weeks. Fat taste thresholds (lowest detectable fat concentration), fat perception (discrimination ability), preference, and anthropometry were assessed at baseline and week 6.

RESULTS: Consumption of a LF diet (n = 26) and PC diet (n = 27) reduced participants’ weight (P < 0.001), with no significant differences between groups (LF, -2.9%, PC, -2.7%). Both diets resulted in a decrease in fat taste thresholds (P = 0.014), and the effect tended to be stronger in the LF diet vs. the PC diet (P = 0.060). The ability to perceive different fat concentrations in foods was increased after the LF diet only (P = 0.017); however, food preference did not change on either diet.

CONCLUSIONS: A PC and LF diet both increase fat taste sensitivity in people with overweight/obesity, with the strongest effect after the LF diet.

Subject Headings: Adult; Diet, Fat-Restricted/methods; Feeding Behavior/physiology; Female; Food Preferences/physiology; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Nutritional Physiological Phenomena; Obesity/diet therapy; Overweight/diet therapy; Taste; Taste Perception

Keywords: Dietary fat restriction increases fat taste sensitivity in people with obesity

Publication year: 2016

Journal or book title: Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)

Volume: 24

Issue: 2

Pages: 328-334

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Type: Journal Article

Serial number: 2615