Posture and Food Tasting

by Matthew Kadey, MS, RD on Oct 16, 2019

Food for Thought

Who knew? Sitting for a meal can improve the taste of food.

Often we are told to rise up from our chairs to help offset the health woes associated with sitting too much. But if we want to glean more joy from a meal, says a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, then we’re better off taking a seat.

Researchers from the University of South Florida found that posture influences our taste perception, with food tasting better when we’re sitting down. Holding a standing posture for a few minutes was found to elicit physical stress and mute taste buds, potentially via increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. For instance, study participants who were standing gave a pita chip a less favorable flavor rating than those who sat comfortably in a padded chair while crunching on the chips. It appears that vestibular sense—responsible for balance, posture and spatial orientation—interacts with the gustatory sensory system, which affects taste and flavor.

Fitness Journal, Volume 16, Issue 11

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About the Author

Matthew Kadey,  MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD IDEA Author/Presenter

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award-winning journalist, Canada-based dietitian, freelance nutrition writer and recipe developer. He has written for dozens of magazines including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Vegetarian Times and Fitness.