The development of salty taste acceptance is related to dietary experience in human infants: a prospective study. Am J Clin Nutr

Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3308, USA.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 6.77). 01/2012; 95(1):123-9. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.111.014282
Source: PubMed


Sodium intake is related to hypertension and other diseases, but little is known about the early development of salty taste acceptance.
The prospective study asked whether dietary experience with foods containing sodium is associated with development of infant salty taste preference.
Infants (n = 61) were tested at 2 and 6 mo to assess their response to 0.17 and 0.34 mol NaCl/L in water. Intake tests consisted of randomized double-blind 120-s exposure to salt solutions and water. Acceptance, calculated as solution intake relative to water, was examined as a function of exposure to starchy table food-a significant source of sodium. Dietary exposure (yes or no) was defined by maternal report. As a control, similar comparisons were based on exposure to fruit table food. A subset of 26 subjects returned at 36-48 mo for assessment of salty taste hedonics and preference.
Dietary experience was related to salt acceptance, with only those infants previously exposed to starchy table foods (n = 26) preferring the salty solutions at 6 mo (P = 0.007). Fruit exposure was not associated with sodium chloride acceptance. Infants eating starchy table foods at 6 mo were more likely to lick salt from the surface of foods at preschool age (P = 0.007) and tended to be more likely to eat plain salt (P = 0.08).
The findings suggest an influential role of early dietary experience in shaping salty taste responses of infants and young children.

Download full-text


Available from: Beverly Cowart
  • Source
    • "For the purposes of this paper, we define snack foods as unhealthy if they usually contain added sugar (referred to as 'sugary snack foods' including sweet biscuits, cookies, candy and soft drinks), are high in salt (referred to 'savoury snack foods' including chips, crisps or biscuits/ crackers) are low in nutrient content or contain trans fats (WHO 2010). Biscuits are a particular concern because frequent consumption of refined carbohydrates is a risk factor for dental caries (Selwitz et al. 2007), they accustom the child to sweet or salty flavours (Adair 2012; Stein et al. 2012) and they often contain trans fats. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Undernutrition in infants and young children is a global health priority while overweight is an emerging issue. Small-scale studies in low- and middle-income countries have demonstrated consumption of sugary and savoury snack foods and soft drinks by young children. We assessed the proportion of children 6-23 months of age consuming sugary snack foods in 18 countries in Asia and Africa using data from selected Demographic and Health Surveys and household expenditures on soft drinks and biscuits using data from four Living Standards Measurement Studies (LSMS). Consumption of sugary snack foods increased with the child's age and household wealth, and was generally higher in urban vs. rural areas. In one-third of countries, >20% of infants 6-8 months consumed sugary snacks. Up to 75% of Asian children and 46% of African children consumed these foods in the second year of life. The proportion of children consuming sugary snack foods was generally higher than the proportion consuming fortified infant cereals, eggs or fruit. Household per capita daily expenditures on soft drinks ranged from $0.03 to $0.11 in three countries for which LSMS data were available, and from $0.01 to $0.04 on biscuits in two LSMS. Future surveys should include quantitative data on the purchase and consumption of snack foods by infants and young children, using consistent definitions and methods for identifying and categorising snack foods across surveys. Researchers should assess associations between snack food consumption and stunting and overweight, and characterise household, maternal and child characteristics associated with snack food consumption.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Maternal and Child Nutrition
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This review considers papers published in the last decade in relation to tracking between early food habits (here, habits acquired before 10 years) and later eating patterns. This review analyzes first how later eating patterns may be associated with the mode of milk feeding (formula vs. breast feeding; type of formula) and with the way complementary feeding is conducted (timing and type/variety of foods offered). Beyond the first year, this review focuses on the tracking of food preferences, food variety, portion size, dietary intake and eating traits. Most studies revealed moderate but significant associations between mode of milk feeding and complementary feeding practices and later eating patterns. When the baseline period is beyond 1 year, a moderate level of tracking is also observed for most eating behaviors reported (food preferences; food variety; dietary intake; eating traits), revealing a consistency over time in eating behavior; however eating behavior is likely to evolve when children grow older.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The concept that flavor preferences have roots in intrauterine and early feeding flavor experiences is under study. Scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center review our knowledge of the impact of reactions to flavors in the amniotic fluid and human milk on later food preferences. (C) Williams & Wilkins 1994. All Rights Reserved.
    No preview · Article · Aug 1994 · Nutrition Today
Show more