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The Influence of Sweet Taste Perception on Dietary Intake in Relation to Dental Caries and BMI in Saudi Arabian Schoolchildren

Journal article
Authors Heba Ashi
G. Campus
Helene Berteus Forslund
W. Hafiz
N. Ahmed
Peter Lingström
Published in International Journal of Dentistry
ISSN 1687-8728
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition
Institute of Odontology, Section 3
Language en
Keywords physical-activity, gender-differences, energy density, young-adults, adolescents, children, preferences, food, obesity, habits, Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine
Subject categories Dentistry


Objectives. The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of sweet taste perception on dietary habits in Saudi schoolchildren. In addition, the relationship between dietary habits and both caries and BMI was studied. Methods. A cross-sectional observational study comprising 225 schoolchildren aged 13-15 years from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was conducted. The consumption frequency of certain food items was analysed from a beverage and snack questionnaire and a three-day estimated dietary record was obtained. The sweet taste perception level was determined as sweet taste threshold (TT) and sweet taste preference (TP). Children were grouped into low, medium, and high, according to their sweet taste perception level. ICDAS and DMFS indices were used for caries registration and anthropometricmeasurements using BMI were collected. Results. Sweet taste perception was found to be negatively correlated to the number of main meals and positively correlated to both snack and sweet intake occasions. Statistically significant differences were found between the TT and TP groups with regard to the number of main meals and sweet intake (p <= 0.01). No significant correlation between the dietary variables and caries or BMI was found. Conclusions. The dietary habits and sweet intake were found to be influenced by the sweet taste perception level, while the relation between the dietary habits and the caries and BMI was found insignificant.

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