Weight Gain Is Bad News for Our Gustatory Mojo

by Matthew Kadey, MS, RD on Oct 11, 2018

Food for Thought

Obesity-related inflammation may be killing your taste buds.

Studies have shown that people with obesity have a blunted sense of taste, so they have to eat more richly flavored foods (more sugary and higher in fat) to glean as much sensory satisfaction from a meal as their leaner peers. This could help in understanding why heavier people have a hard time losing weight.

Using obese mice as a model, researchers from Cornell University have shown that obesity can lead to older taste bud cells on the tongue dying faster than new ones are formed, resulting in a net loss of those cells and a decrease in taste sensitivity. The culprit behind the diminishing numbers of taste bud cells seems to be the uptick in inflammation resulting from accumulation of body fat, according to research published in PLOS Biology.

Fitness Journal, Volume 15, 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.