Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

Sweet, Salty Taste Preferences Tied Together in Kids

Sweet, Salty Taste Preferences Tied Together in Kids

MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A fondness for sweet and salty tastes is linked in children, researchers have discovered.

They add that their findings could prove important in developing new ways to improve youngsters' diets.

Using soups and crackers, sugar water and jellies, the team at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia tested for sweet and salt preferences in 108 children, aged between 5 and 10. The children's mothers were also tested.

Children who had a sweet tooth also liked salty tastes, the research showed, and kids tended to prefer sweeter and saltier tastes than their mothers.

Taste preferences were linked to kids' growth and development, the researchers also found. Children who were tall for their age preferred sweeter tastes, and those with higher amounts of body fat preferred saltier tastes.

It also appeared that a greater preference for sweet tastes was associated with spurts in bone growth, but this finding needs to be confirmed in a larger group of children, said the authors of the study appearing online March 17 in the journal PLoS One.

Genes played a role in whether the mothers preferred sweet tastes, but this was not the case in the children.

"There are inborn genetic differences that affect the liking for sweet by adults, but for children, other factors -- perhaps the current state of growth -- are stronger influences than genetics," study co-author Danielle Reed said in a Monell news release.

American children consume far more sugar and salt than they should, the news release pointed out. Learning more about the biology behind children's preferences for sweet and salty tastes is an important first step in finding ways to reduce their intake of sugar and salt, the researchers pointed out.

"Our research shows that the liking of salty and sweet tastes reflects in part the biology of the child," study lead author and biopsychologist Julie Mennella said in the news release.

"Growing children's heightened preferences for sweet and salty tastes make them more vulnerable to the modern diet, which differs from the diet of our past, when salt and sugars were once rare and expensive commodities," she added.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about child nutrition.

SOURCE: Monell Chemical Senses Center, news release, March 17, 2014

Reviewed Date: --

Find a pediatrician
Dr. Charles Bullaboy
Dr. Alexander Ellis
Dr. Jonathan Fleenor
Dr. Lopa Hartke
Dr. John Reed
Dr. Bertrand Ross
Dr. Elliot Tucker
Dr. Michael Vance
Children's Cardiac Surgery
Dr. Felix Tsai
Dr. L. Matthew Frank
Dr. Ingrid Loma-Miller
Dr. Ralph Northam
Dr. Dayna Perkowski
Dr. Svinder Toor
Dr. Larry White
Health Tips
Abuse of Prescription ADHD Drugs Rising on College Campuses
Cool Tools to Keep Your Kids From Smoking
Do Parents Influence Their Kids’ Health Behaviors?
For Kids, Games Can Build Strong Minds
Guidelines for Raising Smoke-Free Kids
Helping Children Conquer Fear
How Old Is 'Old Enough' for Contacts?
Is It Time for Toilet Training?
Parents-to-Be Must Communicate
Preparing Your Daughter for Changes
Reading to Kids Helps Their Development
Someone's in the Kitchen with Grandma
Sports and Music: Both Good for Kids
Talk With Your Kids About These Issues
Talking Sex with Your Teen
Teens and Talk: What's a Parent to Do?
We Can Head Off Teen Tragedies
Weight Room No Longer Off-Limits to Kids
When to Call the Doctor for Childhood Illnesses
Child Development Quiz
Food Quiz
Food Safety Quiz
Diseases & Conditions
AIDS/HIV in Children
Anatomy of a Child's Brain
Anatomy of the Endocrine System in Children
Anxiety Disorders in Children
Asthma in Children Index
Bone Marrow Transplantation in Children
Brain Tumors in Children
Chemotherapy for Children: Side Effects
Diphtheria in Children
Ewing Sarcoma
Hepatitis B (HBV) in Children
Inflammatory and Infectious Musculoskeletal Disorders
Inflammatory and Infectious Neurological Disorders
Inguinal Hernia in Children
Insect Bites and Children
Kidney Transplantation in Children
Meningitis in Children
Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Muscular Dystrophy
Myasthenia Gravis in Children
Osteosarcoma in Children
Pediatric Blood Disorders
Poliomyelitis (Polio) in Children
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children
Preparing the School-Aged Child for Surgery
Schizophrenia in Children
School-Aged Child Nutrition
Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis
Sports Safety for Children
Superficial Injuries Overview
Television and Children
The Growing Child: 1 to 3 Months
The Growing Child: 10 to 12 Months
The Growing Child: 2-Year-Olds
The Growing Child: 4 to 6 Months
The Growing Child: 7 to 9 Months
The Growing Child: Newborn
The Growing Child: Preschool (4 to 5 Years)
The Growing Child: School-Age (6 to 12 Years)
The Heart
The Kidneys
Vision Overview
Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
Your Child's Asthma
Your Child's Asthma: Flare-ups

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.