Author(s): Johnson SL, McPhee L, Birch LL
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Abstract In two experiments, 20 2-5-year-old children participated in a series of 8 conditioning trials to investigate whether they acquired conditioned preferences based on the fat content of a food. On different days, each child consumed fixed quantities of novelly flavored yogurts that were high or low in fat and energy density (220 or 110 kcal/serving). After conditioning, patterns of ad lib consumption data provided evidence of caloric compensation in response to the energy density differences in the preloads. Children consumed more following the low- than the high-fat preloads. Preference assessments, performed pre- and postconditioning, revealed conditioned flavor preferences based on fat content: children increased their preference for the high-density paired flavor, but no change in preference was noted for the low-density paired flavor. These data suggest that such conditioned flavor preferences based on energy density may be contributing to children's preferences for foods high in dietary fat.
This article was published in Physiol Behav
and referenced in Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health