Research Updates | Taste
Is the desire for sweet taste maintained after a meal (does the so-called ‘dessert stomach’) really exist?
This question relates to Sensory-specific satiety: a sensory hedonic phenomenon that describes declining satisfaction generated by the consumption of a certain type of food, and the consequent renewal in appetite resulting from the exposure to a new flavour or food.
This original research was conducted on 83 young adults who were asked to rate their desire for savoury, sweet, fatty, or salty tastes (represented by pasta, plain sweet biscuits, cheese and crackers, and pizza) using a visual analogue scale three hours after a test meal of 2 slices of bread. Subjects’ desire for salty, fatty and savoury tastes all decreased after the bread but desirability for sweet taste did not differ from baseline.
The authors suggest there is a disconnect between desire for sweetness and satiety, and this may be problematic for energy balance. On a practical level, they suggest sharing dessert to reduce portion size, or enjoying fruit as a dessert.
Harington K, Smeele R, Van Loon F, Yuan J et al. Desire for sweet taste unchanged after eating: evidence of a dessert mentality? J Am Coll Nutr. 2016 Jun; 17:1-6. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=desire+for+sweet+taste+unchanged+after+eating%3A+evidence+of+a+dessert+mentality