ThehTAS2R38genotype is associated with sugar and candy consumption in preschool boys

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The hTAS2R38 taste receptor genotype is related to bitter taste perception and thus may affect food preferences. The present study aimed to evaluate the relationship between the hTAS2R38 genotype and the food consumption and nutrient intakes of Finnish children aged 2–6 years.


Dietary intake was assessed with 7-day food records, and DNA samples were collected by cheek swabs for genotyping. Food intake data between the three most common genotypes were compared (n = 345).


The proportion of the AVI/AVI genotype was 36.7%; PAV/AVI was 42.4%; and PAV/PAV was 14.9%. Boys with the PAV/PAV genotype consumed a mean (SD) weight of sugar and candy of 27 (13) g day−1, which was significantly more compared to the other two genotypes [AVI/AVI 19 (12) g day−1 and PAV/AVI 18 (12) g day−1; both P < 0.01]. These boys also consumed significantly more meat (g day−1) compared to AVI/AVI boys (P < 0.05). PAV/PAV girls tended to consume more grains (g MJ−1) compared to AVI/AVI girls (P = 0.07). Vegetable and fruit consumption and nutrient intake did not differ significantly between genotypes. Based on principal component analysis carried out with total food consumption data, PAV/PAV boys were different from both AVI/AVI and PAV/AVI boys.


The hTAS2R38 genotype may have distinct associations with food consumption in boys and girls.

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