Tasting sweets is an evolutionary skill — and kids are better at it

D C image m e

The ability to taste the intense sweetness of summer fruit is actually a skill, and according to a new study, kids are just better at it than adults.

In the new report, researchers from Monell [Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia] and the University of Florida offered two harvests of blueberries to 49 children and their mothers. They tested three different varieties of blueberries. When asked to pick their favorites, adults and children chose the sweetest berries picked during the first harvest fairly equally, but in the second harvest, the children — aged 6 to 16 — picked the sweeter fruit, while the adults like each variety equally.

[Monell’s Julie] Mennella says that science can help parents channel the sweet preference to a food humans evolved to like – healthy fruits. Young children are more tolerant of both sweetness and saltiness. Somewhere in mid-adolescence, those windows narrow.

“It’s a really smart biologic response,” said Mennella. “Sweet taste is a signal for calories, and salt is a signal for minerals.”

“Children aren’t the same, and an appreciation of those differences can help them get on a healthy track. Parents can cater their preferences to the foods they should be eating,” [Mennella] says.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Why Kids and Adults Taste Blueberries — and Sweets — Differently

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend