Are you worried that your child may develop unhealthy snacking habits outside your knowledge? Your concern is understandable. Kids these days are much more exposed to junk food than before. However it isn't just the neighborhood or the company that solely determines their unhealthy snacking habit. Your genes may have a role to play too.According to the study published in the journal Nutrients, the type of snacks your child chooses may be determined by the genes.
"Research on the genetic predisposition to selecting specific foods based on taste perception may be significant in advancing our fundamental knowledge of genetic factors influencing habitual dietary intake and the development of chronic disease, " the study noted.
For the study, the researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada examined whether genetic variants in taste receptors related to sweet, fat and bitter tastes have any influence over the snacks preschoolers choose.
The findings revealed that nearly 80 per cent of the participants carried at least one of these genotypes that could tend them towards poor snacking habits.
The Canadian study noted that the findings could help parents chart their kid's diet in a way that they don't step towards obesity. Based on their genetics of taste, the feat may become a tad easier.
The snacking behaviour has a lot to do with increased obesity among kids, which is why the study is so important. This could help parents tailor their diet for better nutritional choices.
For the study, they tracked the day-to-day diets of nearly 50 preschoolers and found that one-third of the kids' diets were made up of snacks.
The saliva of the participants was also tested to determine their genetic taste profile.
Children with a sweet tooth, who have the gene related to sweet taste preference, ate snacks with significantly more calories from sugar. Also, they had most of their snacks in the evening. This could be because it is usually in the evening when they are at home and have more access to foods with high sugar. On the other hand, children with the genetic variant related to fat taste sensitivity were found to consume snacks that are slightly more fatty and heavy on carbs.