Consuming just two sugarydrinks a day can dull the taste buds and lead to
cravings for high-calorie food, a study claims.
The research suggests that within a month those who drink sugary beverages
are left with a dulled sensitivity to sweet tastes. This leads to an increased
preference for high-calorie and sugar-laden foods, creating a "viciouscycle" as
consumers look for their next treat.
Those who do not have a sweet tooth are particularly at risk of developing
one after drinking sugary beverages, even if they are slim and active.
Experts who carried out the research at the universities of Bristol and
Bangor expressed surprise at how quickly tastes could be dulled by exposure to
sweet drinks. Lucy Donaldson, of the University of Bristol, said: "We have known
for some time that the way we perceive different tastes can change under
different circumstances. Finding that two sweet drinks a day over a short time
can dramatically change taste was a real surprise."
In the trial leanand obesepeople rated their perception and enjoyment of
sweet and salty tastes. The obese participants tended to rate identical drinks
as less sweet than the lean ones did.
The experts then recruited only lean people who did not usually consume
sugary drinks. Their sensitivity to sweet drinks was tested and they were asked
to consume a sugary drink twice a day. A month later, when they were re-tested,
their sensitivity to sweet tastes and conscious enjoyment of them had
Dr Hans-Peter Kubis, of the University of Bangor, said the dulling of
tastebuds can lead to a "vicious cycle" as consumers of sugary drinks tend to
more sweet and calorie-laden food to compensate.
He said: "This has serious implicationsfor public health. This research
shows how little sweet food stuffsare required to actually change your taste
perceptions, and how powerful sweet-tasting products are.
"We are heading for a health disaster with rising obesity levels and the
increasing incidenceof type 2 diabetes. From our research it is clear to see how
this situation may have created a cycle of sweet food and drink consumption. As
taste satisfaction levels drop; the more sweet foods are consumed, contributing
to these problems."
taste bud 味蕾
craving for 对……的渴望
preference for 偏爱……；优先选择
sugar-laden adj. 富含糖分的
sweet tooth 喜好甜食
at risk of 冒……之危险
perceive v. 察觉；理解；认知
lean adj. 瘦的；贫乏的 v. 倾斜；倚靠；倾向
obese adj. 肥胖的，过胖的
compensate v. 补偿，赔偿
head for 前往；出发；取向于