© 2023 Canadian Malnutrition Task Force
Understanding sweet liking and disliking: re‐evaluating sweet taste as a driver of overconsumptionNovember 28, 2023
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Time: 12:00 - 13:00 ET
Speaker: Martin R. Yeomans, PhD (School of Psychology, University of Sussex)
Taste hedonics drive food choices, and food choices affect weight maintenance. Despite this, the idea that hyper-palatability of sweet foods is linked to obesity development has been controversial for decades. The strong affective and rewarding appeal of sweet taste may be a primary reason why sweet-tasting foods and drinks are eaten in excess, independent of the body’s need for energy. From a biological standpoint, taste has long been considered to have a powerful impact on eating behaviour, which involves inputs from different systems, and the final hedonic decision integrates metabolic needs with activity in the brain’s reward regions. This webinar provides a comprehensive review of how taste preferences are developed, different determinants of sweet liking, and our current understanding of how sweet liking relates to body size and obesity. The conclusions challenge the lay conception of sweet liking driving overconsumption, and instead suggests a more nuanced account of sweet as a risk factor for obesity.
Upon completion of the webinar, participants should be able to:
- Understand how food preference is developed;
- Understand individual differences in sweet liking, when they emerge in life and what they tell us about sweetness and sugar in relation to obesity
Moderator: Angelo Tremblay, PhD (Université Laval)
About the Speaker:
Professor Martin Yeomans is currently Professor of Experimental Psychology. His research centres on the psychology and physiology of motivational controls of eating and drinking, focussed originally at basic physiological controls but more recently concentrating on the role of learning. Current projects including re-evaluating the role of sweet taste, exploring the impact of habitual diet on cognition and evaluating novel sources of protein for the human diet. These factors in turn impact on food choice and on causes of overeating. He has published over 150 journal articles and contributions to specialist books.
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