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Exposure to Salt During Infancy may Influence Future Preferences

by Kathy Jones on December 22, 2011 at 7:41 PM
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 Exposure to Salt During Infancy may Influence Future Preferences

A new study published in the American Journal of Nutrition suggests that a person's preference to salt could be because he was exposed to a salt rich diet when he was an infant.

According to researchers from the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, giving small babies solid food items, such as crackers, cereals and bread, could make him prefer salt in his diet even when he is grown up. The researchers went on to suggest that there might be a "sensitivity window" during infancy that could shape the diet preferences of babies when they grow up.

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The researchers conducted the study on 61 babies by first giving them a mild solution of salt water when they were two months old and then recording whether they were able to differentiate the taste. The babies were then brought back to the clinic four months later and the researchers once again gave them three bottles, each filled with plain water, a mild salt solution and a slightly saltier solution.

The parents were also asked about what type of food the babies were eating. The researchers found that those who had been exposed to salty food items such as crackers or bread, drank 55 percent more salt compared to those who had not yet tasted the food items.

Commenting on the study, lead researcher Leslie Stein said, "More and more evidence is showing us that the first months of life constitute a sensitive period for shaping flavor preferences."



Source: Medindia
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