About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

People's food preferences are inherited, says study

by Medindia Content Team on October 23, 2007 at 3:25 PM
Font : A-A+

People's food preferences are inherited, says study

UK researchers have suggested that people's food preferences may be dependent on their genes, instead of their upbringing and social environment, as earlier thought.

Experts from Kings College London say that a comparison of eating habits of thousands of pairs of twins has shown that identical twins are likely to have the same dietary patterns in most cases—such as liking for coffee and garlic.


More than 3,000 female twins aged between 18 and 79 were assessed for their food habits during the study. It was done by using five different dietary 'groups', which included diets heavy in fruit and vegetables, alcohol, fried meat and potatoes, and low-fat products or low in meat, fish and poultry.

The researchers found that between 41 to 48 per cent of a person's leaning towards one of the food groups was influenced by genetics. The strongest link between individual liking and genes involved a taste for garlic and coffee.

'For so long we have assumed that our upbringing and social environment determine what we like to eat. This has blown that theory out of the water - more often than not, our genetic make-up influences our dietary patterns,' the BBC quoted lead researcher Professor Tim Spector as saying.

The researchers are of the opinion that healthy eating campaigns like the Government's 'five-a-day' fruit and vegetable initiative may have to be revised, as people who are genetically 'programmed' to eat less fruit and vegetables will be more resistant to health messages than thought.

Professor Jane Wardle from University College says that the findings, coupled with other similar research, shown that genetics play a 'moderate' role in the development of preferred foods.

'People have always made the assumption that food choices are all due to environmental factors during life, but it now seems this isn't the case,' she said.

'It also suggests that what parents do to influence eating habits in childhood are not necessarily as important as we thought - and that a lot of effort may need to be made with young people as they become independent in adolescence to steer them onto the right course,' she added

Source: ANI

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Guide to Brushing Your Teeth the Right Way
Resting Heart Rate
Is COVID-19 Vaccination during Pregnancy Safe?
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Why Do We Eat - Nutrition Facts Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Hunger Fullness and Weight Control Label Lingo on Food Items: Decoded Top Diet Foods that Make you Fat Top Food for Dieters Selenium - Natural Source Better than Supplements 

Recommended Reading
Genetic Counseling - Understanding The Pattern Of Genetic Inheritance
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about Understanding The Pattern Of Genetic ......
Hunger Fullness and Weight Control
An erratic way of eating or any metabolic disturbance in the hunger fullness signals is one of the m...
Label Lingo on Food Items: Decoded
Read on to become a “pro” in “label reading” and don’t get tricked by fancy promotions of food produ...
Selenium - Natural Source Better than Supplements
Selenium is a powerful anti-oxidant that prevents cell damage and helps in thyroid hormone productio...
Top Diet Foods that Make you Fat
Every nutrition fad comes with its share of diet foods. While they seem healthy, many diet foods pro...
Top Food for Dieters
A diet food contains protein, fiber and good fats, which help in weight management. Diet foods if co...
Why Do We Eat - Nutrition Facts
The importance of eating food and the physiological, psychological and social functions of food....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use