July 13, 2011
Caffeine Promotes Drink Flavor Preference In Adolescents
Teenagers learn to prefer the taste of sugar-sweetened, carbonated beverages that contain caffeine
Research to be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, indicates that caffeine added to sugar-sweetened, carbonated beverages teaches adolescents to prefer those beverages. Researchers found that the amount of caffeine added to an unfamiliar beverage was correlated with how much teenagers liked that beverage.
To test this theory, adolescents aged 12-17 visited the laboratory multiple times. During each visit, they sampled an unfamiliar soda drink and rated their liking or preference for that beverage. The sodas contained varying amounts of caffeine, and the caffeinated or non-caffeinated versions were varied across participants. Over repeated testing days, participants increased their liking of the soda with the highest levels of caffeine, whereas there was no change in preference for sodas with low or no caffeine.
These results are consistent with prior evidence that teens prefer sodas that contain caffeine compared to those that do not, and newly demonstrate that this preference emerges as a learned behavior.
Lead Author: J. Temple (Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences; School of Public Health and Health Professions; SUNY at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA)
Co-Authors: A.M. Ziegler, A. Bendlin, Y. Kosar, A.M. Graczyk, S. O'Leary, K.E. Vattana (Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences; School of Public Health and Health Professions; SUNY at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA)
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