Researchers at the New York Obesity Research Center, St, and Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital have found a new concept that is responsible for obesity. In a paper presented at annual meeting of Institute of Food Technologies, 2011, researcher Kathleen. L. Keller said that sensitivity of the taste buds to the taste of fat decides the probability of a person becoming obese. Not everybody can taste fats categorically and those who cannot stand a greater risk of obesity due to the presence of a genetic variant.
For the study, the team led by Kathleen L. Keller considered 317 African American adults who were not diagnosed with any other health condition. A study on their tasting capabilities of various kinds of foods resulted in the conclusions that were presented in the meet. The participants of the survey were asked about the kind of diet they usually have. The quantity of butters and creams in their normal diet were also noted. The fats consumed were rated between 5% and 55%. Since the fat tasting capability is related to genes, Keller said that it was important to consider participants from only one genetic group. A diverse genetic group would have wielded haywire results.
Results of the study
A gene, called CD36, was identified as the one responsible for a craving for extra fats, most of which are saturated. The influence of this gene variant was also found in children. It was found that among the 317 volunteers, 21% faced higher risk of obesity due to a weakness for high fat diet. These people like their dishes, including healthy foods like salads, topped with high fat toppings and dressings. Fats can be tasted through their texture and aroma. While some people exhibit a higher level of sensing capacity, others have weaker senses. It was found that those who are able to perceive the taste of fat are more likely to stay away from it. In other words, Keller said, they were shielded against obesity due to their ability to distinguish the taste of fats in the food.
How brain reacts to fats
Several other papers were presenting in the meet on related topics. According to one of the papers presented by Edmund Rolls from the Oxford Center for Computational Neuroscience based in England, brain has two regions that detect tastes, especially chocolates – orbitofrontol cortex and pregenual cingulated cortex. When these two regions differ in their sensitivity, the craving for fatty foods increases.