Influencing flavour perception and preference in infants for long-term health

Patterns formed in the earliest months of existence can shape the taste preferences of a lifetime.

The consumption of sugar-sweetened products is generally accepted as generating an increased risk of non-communicable diseases (NCD), however the inclination of an individual towards these flavour preferences can be shaped both during and just after birth.

The consumption of a healthy diet by the mother during and after birth increases the likelihood that her child will develop a preference for the same healthy foods. Newborns with a preference for sweeter foods rather than healthier ones are less likely to live a healthy life, and more likely to be overweight and suffer from diabetes, hypertension and strokes later in life.

The use of formula milk as opposed to breast milk can also influence the restriction of the taste preferences of a newborn, and so contribute to this process.

Advertisements also play a key role in influencing taste preferences. While it requires ten taste experiences to form a preference, it can occur after just one exposure to an advertisement.

More about this, including the infographic, can be found at this link.

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