Overweight? You May Need More Sweet To Feel Satisfied

Here's the thing.  Food just tastes better to obese people.

Or, putting it a different way: obese people need more sweets to be satisfied.  Which, obviously, make them eat more, right?

According to a new study, "Obesity may alter the way we taste at the most fundamental level: by changing how our tongues react to different foods."

Research has found that being severely overweight impaired the ability of mice to detect sweets, newswise.com reports. "Compared with slimmer counterparts, the plump mice had fewer taste cells that responded to sweet stimuli. What’s more, the cells that did respond to sweetness reacted relatively weakly."

". . .no one had ever looked at the cells on the tongue that make contact with food,” the Web site quotes lead scientist Kathryn Medler, PhD, UB associate professor of biological sciences. “What we see is that even at this level — at the first step in the taste pathway — the taste receptor cells themselves are affected by obesity. The obese mice have fewer taste cells that respond to sweet stimuli, and they don’t respond as well.”

What does this mean for obese and overweight people?  Taste plays an important role in what, and how much, we eat.  Medler tells newswise.com that it’s possible that trouble detecting sweetness may lead obese mice to eat more than their leaner counterparts to get the same payoff.

And the same, for humans.


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