Gary Beauchamp, PhD
Distinguished Member, Director and President Emeritus
Monell Chemical Senses Center
Health policy discussions and policy recommendations are shifting from being focused on "sugar sweetened foods and beverages" to "sweetened foods and beverages" and the delivery of sweetness regardless of source - sugar or low- calorie sweeteners. Concern stems from human attraction to sweet being seen as a potential risk for developing less healthy eating patterns and habits. In this context, there is often a failure to distinguish between exposure to sources of sweetness that contribute added sugars/calories to the diet, and exposure to sweetness as a taste.
The study of "sweetness" encompasses a wide range of scientific fields including sensory science, psychology, receptor biology and nutrition science, and is in its infancy. The purpose of this session is to explore some of the research questions on the topic of sweetness, to spark interest, and encourage researchers to take on this relatively young topic. Questions to address could include (but are not limited to) the following:
1. Is sweetness intensity or perception of intensity associated with intake of sweet foods/beverages?
2. Is sweetness preference associated with intake of sweet foods/beverages?
3. Does consuming sweet foods/beverages drive greater preference for sweet in subsequent meals? Longer term?
4. Is there evidence that sweetness intake is associated with caloric intake? Does sweetness in the absence of calories cause energy compensation?
5. Can the palate be adapted to increase/decrease preference for sweetness in foods/beverages?
Presentation of novel findings and/or methodologies are encouraged to excite potential researchers in this area.
Lunch will be available for sponsored satellite program attendees on a first-come, first-serve basis.