Influence of the PROP bitter taste phenotype and eating attitudes on energy intake and weight status in pre-adolescents: a 6-year follow-up study.
ABSTRACT: The PROP bitter-taste phenotype is a marker for food preferences and eating behavior, and may associate with differences in body weight in children. Previous work has shown that PROP status in combination with eating attitudes are better predictors of weight status in preadolescents, than either factor alone. However, no studies have examined the role of PROP phenotypes in body weight change in children over time. The primary objective of this study was to investigate current weight status and change in weight status in children from preschool (baseline) to preadolescence as a function of eating attitudes and PROP phenotype. Other measures included self-reported food intakes and physical activity by activity monitor. Seventy-three lean (BMI percentile=57.7±3.2%) children with mean age=10.3±0.5yrs, participated in the follow up. There were no group differences in energy intake, current BMI-percentile or change in BMI percentile from baseline by PROP phenotype in either boys or girls. However, there was a trend for non-taster girls to show a downward shift in BMI-percentile at follow up. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that baseline BMI percentile and physical activity energy expenditure were the strongest predictors of current weight (28.5% variance),followed by child restraint, the taster×gender interaction, and the maternal BMI×maternal emotional eating interaction, accounting for 7.1%, 6.0% and 4.8% of variance in the model, respectively. These findings suggest that PROP status and eating attitudes are modest predictors of weight status in preadolescent children.
Project description:Few studies have prospectively investigated whether early-life exposures are associated with pre-adolescent eating attitudes.The objective of this study is to prospectively investigate associations of parental smoking, alcohol use, marital status, measures of maternal satisfaction, self-reported parental body mass index (BMI) and clinically measured childhood BMI, assessed between birth and 6.5 years, with problematic eating attitudes at 11.5 years.Observational cohort analysis nested within the Promotion of Breastfeeding Intervention Trial, a cluster-randomised trial conducted in 31 maternity hospitals and affiliated polyclinics in Belarus. Our primary outcome was a Children's Eating Attitudes Test (ChEAT) score ?22.5 (85th percentile), an indicator of problematic eating attitudes. We employed multivariable mixed logistic regression models, which allow inference at the individual level. We also performed instrumental variable (IV) analysis using parents' BMIs as instruments for the child's BMI, to assess whether associations could be explained by residual confounding or reverse causation.Of the 17?046 infants enrolled between 1996 and 1997 across Belarus, 13?751 (80.7%) completed the ChEAT test at 11.5 years.In fully adjusted models, overweight children at age 6.5 years had a 2.14-fold (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.82, 2.52) increased odds of having ChEAT scores ?85th percentile at age 11.5 years, and those who were obese had a 3.89-fold (95% CI: 2.95, 5.14) increased odds compared with normal-weight children. Children of mothers or fathers who were themselves overweight or obese were more likely to score ?85th percentile (P for trend ?0.001). IV analysis was consistent with a child's BMI causally affecting future eating attitudes. There was little evidence that parental smoking, alcohol use, or marital status or maternal satisfaction were associated with eating attitudes.In our large, prospective cohort in Belarus, both parental and childhood overweight and obesity at 6.5 years were associated with pre-adolescent problematic eating attitudes 5 years later.
Project description:In school-based samples of children, the Children's Eating Attitudes Test (ChEAT) has a four-factor structure; however, previous studies have not examined its factor structure in samples restricted to overweight youth.The ChEAT was administered to 220 overweight (BMI>or=95th percentile) and 45 at-risk for overweight (BMI 85th-<95th percentile) children and adolescents. Factors were identified by a principal component analysis with varimax rotation. ChEAT factor scores of children with BMI>or=85th percentile were contrasted with those of 152 non-overweight (BMI 5th to <85th percentile) children and adolescents.Factor analysis generated four subscales described as 'body/weight concern,' 'food preoccupation,' 'dieting,' and 'eating concern.' ChEAT total score, body/weight concern, and dieting subscale scores were positively related to BMI-Z and body fat mass (p's<.05). Compared to non-overweight children, overweight and at-risk for overweight children had higher ChEAT total (9.9+/-7.4 vs. 6.6+/-7.8, p<.001), body/weight concern (3.2+/-3.1 vs. 1.3+/-3.0, p<.001), and dieting (1.8+/-2.2 vs. .8+/-2.3, p<.001) subscale scores.The previously elucidated factor structure of the ChEAT was primarily supported in a sample of overweight children. The emergence of separate body/weight concern and dieting subscales may relate to these children's experiences with attempted weight reduction.
Project description:Previous studies have shown that inherited taste blindness to bitter compounds like 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) may be a risk factor for obesity, but this literature has been highly controversial. The objectives of this study were (i) to confirm findings that show an interaction between PROP status and sex on BMI z-score, and (ii) to determine if sex also interacts with variations in TAS2R38 (phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) genotype) to influence weight status in 4-6 year olds. Also, we tested whether nontaster children consumed more fat and total energy at laboratory-based meals. Seventy-two ethnically diverse children who ranged in weight status were classified as tasters (N = 52) or nontasters (N = 20) using a standard PROP screening solution. Anthropometric measures were taken, and at the end of each visit, children ate ad libitum from test meals intended for exploratory purposes. Genomic DNA was extracted from saliva and alleles at TAS2R38 were genotyped for A49P polymorphisms. In 75.8% of children, PTC genotype predicted PROP phenotype, whereas in 24.4%, genotype did not predict phenotype. PROP nontaster males had higher BMI z-scores than taster-males and females in both groups (P < 0.05), but due to a three-way interaction between PROP phenotype, TAS2R38 genotype, and sex, this relationship was only true for children who were homozygous for the bitter-insensitive allele (P < 0.0005). There were no differences in test-meal intake as a function of PROP phenotype or TAS2R38 genotype. These results suggest that the TAS2R38 variation, PROP phenotype, and sex interact to impact obesity risk in children. Future studies should be done to determine how this trait influences energy balance.
Project description:Previous studies show that children who are sensitive to the bitter taste of 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) report more frequent intake of sweets and less frequent intake of meats (savory fats) relative to children who are PROP insensitive. Laboratory studies are needed to confirm these findings. In this study, seventy-nine 4- to 6-year-olds from diverse ethnicities attended four laboratory sessions, the last of which included a palatable buffet consisting of savory-fats (e.g. pizza), sweet-fats (e.g. cookies, cakes), and sweets (e.g. juices, candies). PROP phenotype was classified by two methods: 1) a common screening procedure to divide children into tasters and nontasters, and 2) a three-concentration method used to approximate PROP thresholds. Height and weight were measured and saliva was collected for genotyping TAS2R38, a bitter taste receptor related to the PROP phenotype. Data were analyzed by General Linear Model ANOVA with intake from savory fats, sweet-fats, and sweets as dependent variables and PROP status as the independent variable. BMI z-score, sex, age, and ethnicity were included as covariates. Adjusted energy intake from the food group "sweets" at the test-meal was greater for tasters than for nontasters. PROP status did not influence children's adjusted intake of savory-fats, but BMI z-score did. The TAS2R38 genotype did not impact intake at the test-meal. At a palatable buffet, PROP taster children preferentially consumed more sweets than nontaster children, while heavier children consumed more savory fats. These findings may have implications for understanding differences in susceptibility to hyperphagia.
Project description:Practical and reliable methods for the objective measure of taste function are critically important for studying eating behavior and taste function impairment. Here, we present direct measures of human gustatory response to a prototypical bitter compound, 6-n-propyltiouracil (PROP), obtained by electrophysiological recordings from the tongue of subjects who were classified for taster status and genotyped for the specific receptor gene (TAS2R38), and in which taste papilla density was determined. PROP stimulation evoked negative slow potentials that represent the summated depolarization of taste cells. Depolarization amplitude and rate were correlated with papilla density and perceived bitterness, and associated with taster status and TAS2R38. Our study provides a robust and generalizable research tool for the quantitative measure of peripheral taste function, which can greatly help to resolve controversial outcomes on the PROP phenotype role in taste perception and food preferences, and be potentially useful for evaluating nutritional status and health.
Project description:Thiourea tasting can be predictive of individual differences in bitter taste responses, general food preferences and eating behavior, and could be correlated with saliva chemical composition. We investigated the possible relationship between PROP bitter taste responsiveness and the salivary proteome in subjects genotyped for TAS2R38 and gustin gene polymorphisms. Taste perception intensity evoked by PROP and NaCl solutions was measured in sixty-three volunteers (21 males, 42 females, age 25±3 y) to establish their PROP taster status, and 24 PROP super-tasters and 21 nontasters were selected to participate in the study. TAS2R38 and gustin gene molecular analysis were performed using PCR techniques. Qualitative and quantitative determination of salivary proteins was performed by HPLC-ESI-MS before and after PROP taste stimulation. PROP super-tastings was strongly associated with the 'taster' variant (PAV haplotype) of TAS2R38 and the A allele of rs2274333 polymorphism in the gustin gene and nontasting was associated with the minor alleles at both loci. ANOVA revealed that basal levels of II-2 and Ps-1 proteins, belonging to the basic proline-rich protein (bPRPs) family, were significantly higher in PROP super-taster than in nontaster un-stimulated saliva, and that PROP stimulation elicited a rapid increase in the levels of these same proteins only in PROP super-taster saliva. These data show for the first time that responsiveness to PROP is associated with salivary levels of II-2 peptide and Ps-1 protein, which are products of the PRB1 gene. These findings suggest that PRB1, in addition to TAS2R38 and gustin, could contribute to individual differences in thiourea sensitivity, and the expression of the PROP phenotype as a complex genetic trait.
Project description:How weight perception influences weight-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors in Chinese children is unknown. We investigated self-perception of body weight and its correlates, and analyzed the relationship between weight perception and weight-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors in children in Guangzhou, China.We assessed self-reported weight perception, weight-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors in 3752 children aged 7-12 years. Underweight or overweight was defined using the Chinese criteria based on body mass index (BMI). Binary logistic regression analyses were performed to assess correlates of weight underestimation.In total, 27.3% of children underestimated and 6.7% overestimated their weight status. Weight underestimation was common among normal-weight (34.1%) and overweight children (25.3%). Older age, female sex, and child BMI z-score were negatively associated with normal-weight children's underestimation, whereas older age, paternal obesity, maternal obesity, and child BMI z-score were negatively associated with overweight children's underestimation. Correct answers on weight-related knowledge questions ranged from 81.5% to 98.6% and did not differ by weight perception within BMI categories. Although negative perceivers (i.e., those who perceived themselves as underweight or overweight) had a higher intention to change weight, they behaved more unhealthily on fruit intake, breakfast, screen time, and daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activities time than counterparts.Weight underestimation was prevalent in normal-weight and overweight children in Guangzhou. Negative perceivers had stronger willingness to change weight but tended to behave more unhealthily on certain behaviors than positive perceivers. Childhood obesity interventions should incorporate health education and practical support to promote healthy eating and physical activity.
Project description:Behavioral reaction to different taste qualities affects nutritional status and health. 6-n-Propylthiouracil (PROP) tasting has been reported to be a marker of variation in taste perception, food preferences, and eating behavior, but results have been inconsistent. We showed that l-Arg can enhance the bitterness intensity of PROP, whilst others have demonstrated a suppression of the bitterness of quinine. Here, we analyze the taste perception of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami and the modifications caused by l-Arg supplementation, as a function of PROP-taster status. Taste perception was assessed by testing the ability to recognize, and the responsiveness to, representative solutions of the five primary taste qualities, also when supplemented with l-Arg, in subjects classified as PROP-tasting. Super-tasters, who showed high papilla density, gave higher ratings to sucrose, citric acid, caffeine, and monosodium l-glutamate than non-tasters. l-Arg supplementation mainly modified sucrose perception, enhanced the umami taste, increased NaCl saltiness and caffeine bitterness only in tasters, and decreased citric acid sourness. Our findings confirm the role of PROP phenotype in the taste perception of sweet, sour, and bitter and show its role in umami. The results suggest that l-Arg could be used as a strategic tool to specifically modify taste responses related to eating behaviors.
Project description:Determination of the number of fungiform papillae (FP) on the human tongue is an important measure that has frequently been associated with individual differences in oral perception, including taste sensitivity. At present, there is no standardised method consistently used to identify the number of FP, and primarily scientists manually count papillae over a small region(s) of the anterior tip of a stained tongue. In this study, a rapid automated method was developed to quantify the number of FP across the anterior 2cm of an unstained tongue from high resolution digital images. In 60 participants, the automated method was validated against traditional manual counting, and then used to assess the relationship between the number of FP and taste phenotype (both 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) and Thermal Taster Status). FP count on the anterior 2cm of the tongue was found to correlate significantly with PROP taster status. PROP supertasters (PSTs) had a significantly higher FP count compared with PROP non-tasters (PNTs). Conversely, the common approach used to determine the number of FP in a small 6mm diameter circle on the anterior tongue tip, did not show a significant correlation irrespective of whether it was determined via automated or manual counting. The regional distribution of FP was assessed across PROP taster status groups. PSTs had a significantly higher FP count within the first centimetre of the anterior tongue compared with the PNT and PROP medium-tasters (PMT), with no significant difference in the second centimetre. No significant relationship was found with Thermal Taster Status and FP count, or interaction with PROP taster status groups, supporting previous evidence suggesting these phenomena are independent. The automated method is a valuable tool, enabling reliable quantification of FP over the anterior 2cm surface of the tongue, and overcomes subjective discrepancies in manual counting.
Project description:This cross-sectional study determined whether 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) taster status moderates the relationship between food consumption patterns and body composition in children. Children were recruited (n = 342, 50% female, 8-10 y) from across New Zealand. Using a food frequency questionnaire, these food consumption patterns were derived: Processed Foods, Fruit and Vegetables, and Breakfast Foods. Body composition variables included: body fat (%), fat mass (kg), fat mass index (FMI, kg/m2), body mass index (kg/m2) and waist to height ratio (W:Ht). Following adjustment for confounders, Processed Foods were positively associated with %fat (p = 0.015), fat mass (p = 0.004) and FMI (p = 0.016). Taste test strips determined PROP status. For Breakfast Foods, there were small negative associations with all body composition variables (p ≤ 0.001 to 0.037). The population sample was also stratified by PROP taster status. For the non-tasters, there were small to moderate negative associations between Breakfast Foods and each body composition variable (p = 0.003-0.045) except W:Ht (p = 0.112), and these relationships were stronger for girls compared to boys. For the tasters, there were small to moderate positive associations between Processed Foods with %fat (p = 0.030), fat mass (p ≤ 0.001) and FMI (p = 0.014). In conclusion, sensitivity to bitterness may moderate the relationship between food consumption patterns and body composition in children.