New knowledge: Girls have a better sense of taste than boys. Every third child of school age prefers soft drinks which are not sweet. Children and young people love fish and do not think of themselves as being fussy eaters. Boys have a sweeter tooth than girls. And teenagers taste differently. The findings of the world's largest study so far on the ability of children and young people to taste and what they like have now been published. The study was conducted jointly by Danish Science Communication, food scientists from The Faculty of Life Sciences (LIFE) at University of Copenhagen and 8,900 Danish schoolchildren.
In September, 8,900 schoolchildren from all over Denmark took part in a large-scale experiment conducted by Danish Science Communication and The Faculty of Life Sciences (LIFE) at University of Copenhagen. It is the first time that such a large-scale study has been done on the sense of taste of children and young people and what they like to eat.
Danish schoolchildren help scientists
One of the reasons why it was possible to include so many children and young people in the study was that the experiment itself was conducted in quite an unorthodox way: It was planned as a 'mass experiment' in conjunction with this year's natural science festival at Danish primary and secondary schools. All the participating groups of children were sent a complete kit of taster samples and very detailed instructions, and then conducted the experiment as part of their natural science classes. The various tests were designed to quantify the ability of children and young people to discover and recognise sweet and sour tastes at varying intensities, to establish which sourness or sweetness they prefer, how many taste buds they have and, finally, the children answered a number of questions on their eating habits and fussiness over food.
And both pupils and teachers have taken the experiment very seriously: "What is most surprising is th
|Contact: Bodil Allesen-Holm|
University of Copenhagen