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Honors Thesis Archive

Author Erin Berger
Title The Relationship Between Fungiform Papillae Density, PTC Supertasting, Food Preferences, and Eating Behaviors in College Students
Department Psychology
Advisor Josephine Wilson
Year 2010
Honors University Honors
Full Text View Thesis (120 KB)
Abstract Perceived taste sensitivity is important because it significantly influences food preferences, and it may help predict dietary habits and other eating behaviors that influence body weight. Because supertasters are more sensitive to bitter taste, they may have a reduced preference for bitter, but beneficial, phytonutrients that are common in fruits and vegetables. The present study examined taster status, BMI, food preferences and eating behaviors for 63 Wittenberg University students. Results from this study have shown that taster status, indicated by PTC intensity scores and fungiform papillae densities, explains heightened taste sensitivity and therefore influences food preferences. This relationship between taste anatomy and food choice provides important evidence that individuals may be biologically prone to liking and therefore consuming specific foods.

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