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Liking and the orosensory perception of food in a stress vs. rest condition in overweight and normal weight participants

Food Quality and Preference
DOI: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2012.05.005
  • Orosensory Perception
  • Liking
  • Stress
  • Overweight


Abstract Stress and increased body weight may lead to decreased sensory or hedonic perception. Rewarding value of food consists of liking and wanting; this study emphasizes characterization of orosensory perception and liking during stress. The effect of stress on orosensory attributes of food and liking was tested in overweight and normal weight participants. Thirty-nine participants (26f/13m, age 30±11y), 24 normal weight (BMI 22±2kg/m2, waist/hip-ratio 0.78±0.02) and 15 visceral-overweight (BMI 29±2kg/m2, waist/hip-ratio 0.87±0.02) tasted 67 food items randomly in a rest and stress condition, subsequently rating orosensory attributes (i.e., sweetness, bitterness, saltiness, sourness, umami, creaminess, crispiness) and liking using visual analog scales. Stress was induced using an unsolvable math task in a noisy context. In overweight participants, orosensory perception was less pronounced, especially with respect to sweetness. Liking was related to orosensory perception, the relationships were the same in both conditions. Liking was scored lower by overweight vs. normal weight participants. Stress vs. rest reduced orosensory perception in normal weight participants. Stress vs. rest reduced liking equally for normal weight and overweight participants. In conclusion, our results show that orosensory perception and liking of food are reduced in overweight compared to normal weight participants; the latter is especially emphasized during stress.

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