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Monnery-Patris S.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Monnery-Patris S.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Monnery-Patris S.,Umr Center Des Science Du Gout Et Of Lalimentation | Wagner S.,French National Center for Scientific Research | And 15 more authors.
Appetite | Year: 2015

Previous research has identified relationships between chemosensory reactivity and food neophobia in children. However, most studies have investigated this relationship using declarative data and without separately analysing smell and taste reactivity. Our first objective was to assess the relationships between smell and taste differential reactivity in toddlers (i.e. reactivity towards several stimuli), using experimental behavioural measurements. The second objective was to determine the relationships between smell (or taste) differential reactivity and food neophobia in toddlers, with the hypothesis that the more responsive a toddler was across food odours or tastes, the more neophobic s/he would be. An additional objective was to determine whether the potential relationships between smell (or taste) differential reactivity and food neophobia differ according to gender.One hundred and twenty-three toddlers aged from 20 to 22 months from the Opaline birth cohort (Observatory of Food Preferences in Infants and Children) were involved. A questionnaire was used to assess child's food neophobia. Toddlers' differential reactivity for smell (and for taste) was defined as the variability of behavioural responses over 8 odorants, and over the five basic tastes.Smell and taste differential reactivities were not correlated. Food neophobia scores were modestly but significantly positively correlated with smell differential reactivity but not with taste differential reactivity. When gender was considered, smell reactivity and neophobia were correlated only among boys.This indicates the need to study smell and taste reactivity separately to determine their associations with eating behaviours. This suggests that the rejection of novel foods in neophobic boys could be partly due to food odour. This finding is new and clearly requires further investigation. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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