Matters of taste. Dietary taste patterns in the Netherlands

Summary: Sweet tooth and savoury taste

The world is becoming more and more fat. One way of tackling this problem is promoting desirable food choices. Food choices are to a large extent guided by taste. However, some think that for overweight and obese people following their taste guides them to eat unhealthy, sugary sweet foods and this is why they are fat. However, in her dissertation Astrid van Langeveld found that sweet foods may not be the main culprit. Her findings indicate that obese people consume relatively more calories from ‘salt, umami & fat’ tasting foods, think of potato chips and fried foods.

People tend to find it very difficult to stick to dietary guidelines. The reason for this may be surprisingly simple: the recommended diets are simply not tasty enough! These diets are low in taste intensity. Suggestions for the future are to create healthy diets, but also satisfy our sweet tooth and savoury taste.