Evaluation of the monell forced-choice, paired-comparison tracking procedure for determining sweet taste preferences across the lifespan

Julie A. Mennella*, Laura D. Lukasewycz, James W Griffith, Gary K. Beauchamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Lack of methodology to assess taste in children limits its measurement in research studies that include pediatric populations. We used the Monell 2-series, forced-choice tracking method to measure sucrose preferences of a racially/ethnically diverse sample (n = 949) of children, adolescents, and adults. Reliability was assessed by comparing the results of the first series with the second series. Validity was assessed by relating participants' sucrose preferences to their preferences for foods varying in sweetness. The task required, on average, 7 presentations of aqueous sucrose solution pairs. Children and adolescents preferred more concentrated sweetness than adults (P < 0.001). Black children/adolescents preferred a more concentrated sucrose solution than did White children/adolescents even when gender, parental education level, and family income were used as covariates. Data from a single series were sufficient to detect age-related differences but insufficient to detect racial/ethnic differences in sweet preferences. Level of sweetness preferred significantly correlated with the sugar content of favorite cereals (P < 0.001) and beverages (P < 0.02). This method is brief and has evidence of reliability and external validity. Although a single series will yield useful information about age-related differences in taste preferences, the 2-series version should be considered when differences in race/ethnicity are of interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-355
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Senses
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 22 2011

Fingerprint

Matched-Pair Analysis
Sucrose
Food Preferences
Beverages
Reproducibility of Results
Pediatrics
Education
Research
Population

Keywords

  • Ethnicity
  • Food preference
  • Methodology
  • Race
  • Sugars
  • Table salt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

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abstract = "Lack of methodology to assess taste in children limits its measurement in research studies that include pediatric populations. We used the Monell 2-series, forced-choice tracking method to measure sucrose preferences of a racially/ethnically diverse sample (n = 949) of children, adolescents, and adults. Reliability was assessed by comparing the results of the first series with the second series. Validity was assessed by relating participants' sucrose preferences to their preferences for foods varying in sweetness. The task required, on average, 7 presentations of aqueous sucrose solution pairs. Children and adolescents preferred more concentrated sweetness than adults (P < 0.001). Black children/adolescents preferred a more concentrated sucrose solution than did White children/adolescents even when gender, parental education level, and family income were used as covariates. Data from a single series were sufficient to detect age-related differences but insufficient to detect racial/ethnic differences in sweet preferences. Level of sweetness preferred significantly correlated with the sugar content of favorite cereals (P < 0.001) and beverages (P < 0.02). This method is brief and has evidence of reliability and external validity. Although a single series will yield useful information about age-related differences in taste preferences, the 2-series version should be considered when differences in race/ethnicity are of interest.",
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Evaluation of the monell forced-choice, paired-comparison tracking procedure for determining sweet taste preferences across the lifespan. / Mennella, Julie A.; Lukasewycz, Laura D.; Griffith, James W; Beauchamp, Gary K.

In: Chemical Senses, Vol. 36, No. 4, 22.04.2011, p. 345-355.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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