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Drinking Sweet Beverages Desensitizes People To Sweetness, Causing Overconsumption

May 12, 2011: 08:46 AM EST
Frequent consumption of sugary drinks dulls the sensitivity to sweetness, leading people to seek more sweet foods and drinks and a “vicious cycle” of consumption, according to a British study. For one part of the study, researchers assessed 22 lean and 11 overweight participants on the intensity of sweet taste, finding that overweight and obese people tended to rate identical drinks as being less sweet than lean people. The authors concluded that sweet “treats” become less rewarding over time, pushing people to look for even sweeter foods and drinks. In the second study, 12 lean people who rarely drank sugary beverages consumed soft drinks for four weeks along with their regular diet. The sugary drinks altered sweet intensity/pleasantness ratings and increased the preference for sweetness in these “sucrose dislikers.”
F. Sartor, et al. , "Taste perception and implicit attitude toward sweet related to body mass index and soft drink supplementation", Appetite, May 12, 2011, © Elsevier Ltd.
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United Kingdom
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