A latest study, investigating genetic variants in taste receptors, has revealed that the types of snacks a child chooses could be linked to genetics.
Research on the genetic predisposition to selecting specific foods based on taste perception may be significant in advancing our fundamental knowledge of genetic factors influencing habitual dietary intake and the development of chronic disease.
The researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada examined whether genetic variants in taste receptors related to sweet, fat and bitter tastes have any influence over the snacks preschoolers choose.
The findings revealed that nearly 80 per cent of the participants carried at least one of these genotypes that could tend them towards poor snacking habits.
The Canadian study noted that the findings could help parents chart their kid’s diet in a way that they don’t step towards obesity. Based on their genetics of taste, the feat may become a tad easier.
The snacking behavior has a lot to do with increased obesity among kids, which is why the study is so important.
This could help parents tailor their diet for better nutritional choices.
For the study, they tracked the day-to-day diets of nearly 50 preschoolers and found that one-third of the kids’ diets were made up of snacks.
The saliva of the participants was also tested to determine their genetic taste profile.
Children with a sweet tooth, who have the gene related to sweet taste preference, ate snacks with significantly more calories from sugar.
Also, they had most of their snacks in the evening. This could be because it is usually in the evening when they are at home and have more access to foods with high sugar.
On the other hand, children with the genetic variant related to fat taste sensitivity were found to consume snacks that are slightly more fatty and heavy on carbs.