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Taste the texture. The relation between subjective tactile sensitivity, mouthfeel and picky eating in young adults

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Abstract

Selective or picky eating can be an obstacle for a varied diet. One reason why people reject certain foods is because they do not like the texture. Several studies show that in children tactile sensitivity is related to pickiness in eating. Children who do not like the feel of sand or of slimy substances with their hands also reject more kinds of food, presumably because the children are more sensitive to the mouthfeel of several food textures. There is however hardly any research on the role of tactile sensitivity in adult food acceptance. Two important questions therefore are: Is tactile sensitivity related to picky eating in adults and if so, does mouthfeel mediate the relation between tactile sensitivity and pickiness? In the current study, picky eating, subjective tactile sensitivity, and evaluation of mouthfeel were measured in 87 undergraduate students. It appeared that the three measures are moderately related, with mouthfeel mediating the relation between subjective tactile sensitivity and pickiness in eating. These results show that in adults too, tactile sensitivity plays a role in the acceptance of a larger variety of foods. This means that when aiming to change or improve dietary quality of adults, acceptance of food texture should be taken into account.

    Research areas

  • ADEQUACY, CHILDREN, DIETARY DIVERSITY, ENJOYMENT, FOOD NEOPHOBIA, PERCEPTION, PLAY, SENSORY SENSITIVITY, VARIETY, VEGETABLE CONSUMPTION
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-61
Number of pages4
JournalAppetite
Volume136
Early online date18 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019