Children’s preferences for sweet or high-fat snacks or a strong aversion to bitter tastes like those of some green, leafy vegetables may have a genetic link, say researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.
Results of a small study involving about 50 preschool children suggest that about 80 percent of kids have a specific genotype that predisposes them to poor snacking choices. This is important because snacks make up one-third of most kids’ daily diets, according to the Canadian researchers.
Kids in the study who had a genetic predisposition to sweets ate snacks with more sugar and tended to snack more in the evening. Those predisposed to high-fat tastes or an aversion to bitter tastes preferred high-energy density snacks with lots of sugar and fat.