Sweet tooth, nature or norture
An important narrative in the societal discourse about the food environment is the idea that sweetness in foods promotes energy intake and obesity. The narrative “less sweetness exposure --> lower sweetness preference --> lower sugar intake --> lower body weight” is simple, attractive and powerful. However, good data that support this reasoning is currently lacking.
This study is aimed to fill this gap in the scientific literature by investigating the effect of a low, regular or high sweetness diet on changes in sweetness preferences, energy intake, glucose metabolism and body weight. This is done in a well powered semi-controlled long term (6 months) nutrition intervention study with follow-up, where subjects are provided with foods that comprise more than 50 % of their energy requirements. The trial is named “I-sense”
To assess the effect of 6 months regular, low and high dietary sweetness exposure on sweetness preferences, food intake, glucose homeostasis and body weight in healthy adults.
More specifically, the objectives are:
1. To assess the effect of 6 months regular, low and high dietary sweetness exposure on preferred sweetness intensity in a series of familiar and unfamiliar foods.
2. To assess the effect of 6 months regular, low and high dietary sweetness exposure on sweetness perception, food choice and intake during a test meal, dietary taste patterns, taste preferences and food cravings.
3. To assess the effect of 6 months regular, low and high dietary sweetness exposure on glucose homeostasis, body weight and body composition.
4. To assess the effects on the aforementioned outcomes after 4 months of follow up.
Expected results 2020
-Approval of Study protocol by METC
-Start of Recruitment by end Q1
-Start of data collection by start Q3
-By end of year enrolment of 30 Subjects
Achieved results 2020
-Approval of Study protocol by METC in Jan 2020 after five rounds of questions
-Start Recruitment by beginning Q4; Delay due COVID
-Start data collection by Q4 2020
-By end of year enrolment of 15 Subjects
Expected results 2021
-Further enrolment of 140 subject
-Finish data collection of 15 subject
-Produce papers on
-food frequency questionnaire to measure sweet taste exposure
-set-up and methodology of i-sense trial
-development and testing of primary outcome measures, i.e. sweetness preferences of (un-)familiar sweet foods