Project Details

Does growing up taste sweet and creamy?

Duration: Since 01.06.2020
Project Type: PostDoc Project
Funding: Central Research Funding of the University of Bremen


The background of the project stems from repeated observations indicating that taste preferences evolve throughout childhood as individuals age. The underlying reasons for these changes remain unknown. Consequently, the primary objective of this project is to investigate whether taste preferences are correlated with the growth and maturation of children aged 8 to 14.

To achieve this goal, we will employ a two-fold approach. Firstly, we will quantitatively analyze data obtained from a comprehensive cohort study conducted across Europe. This analysis will encompass examining the association between elevated hormone concentrations, typical in maturing children, and taste preferences related to sweet, salty, fatty, and bitter flavors. Additionally, we will explore the connection between a marker of bone metabolism and the aforementioned taste preferences. Moreover, we will delve into the relationship between taste perception and dietary choices within this specific age group.

Secondly, we will actively involve children aged 10 to 12 in the project. We will work closely with a consistent group of approximately 8 children, conducting regular weekly meetings over at least six months. Our objective is to collaboratively devise strategies for introducing children of the same age to a more balanced and nutritious selection of foods. The qualitative evaluation of the children's active participation will play a crucial role in shaping the outcomes of this project. Ultimately, the insights gained from this qualitative assessment will facilitate greater involvement of children, our target group, in health research.

Further information

Publications: Jilani H, Intemann T, Buchecker K, Charalambos H, Gianfagna F, De Henauw S, Lauria F, Molnar D, Moreno LA, Lissner L, Pala V, Siani A, Veidebaum T, Ahrens W, Hebestreit A, IDEFICS consortium; Correlates of bitter, sweet, salty and umami taste sensitivity in European children: Role of sex, age and weight status - The IDEFICS study, Appetite, 2022, 2022 May 18;175:106088.