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Posted 15 December 2008

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Why do kids hate their greens? UCD researchers study the genetics of taste

Researchers at the UCD Institute of Food and Health are conducting a study of children and their parents to identify those who have a particular gene that influences their taste buds when they eat fruit and vegetables.  So far, the researchers have tested over 500 children and over 150 parents.  They fall into two categories, tasters (those who have the gene) or non-tasters.  The researchers are now involving behavioural scientists in an effort to understand the relationship between those who have or have not the gene and those who like or dislike fruit and veg.   There is also a growing body of evidence to suggest that genes influence behaviour so the more the scientists understand the generic makeup the more they can use it to develop personal health programmes for kids – and their parents.

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