About 70% of African-Americans are currently overweight. Among these overweight individuals, 40% are adults aged 20 years and older. Such high incidence of overweight cases in African-Americans raises the question: does this population have a taste preference for dietary fat? The objective of this study was to determine if dietary fat preference depends on taste sensitivity in young African-American adults. Fifty-seven African-Americans aged 18 to 21 voluntarily participated in the study. Two types of commonly consumed food, lasagna and macaroni and cheese, were used. Each food type had two versions prepared with identical ingredients and cooking methods, except for total fat content (reduced-fat versus regular-fat). Demographic data, food consumption frequency, correct identification, and taste preference were collected and analyzed using the Student t-test, Chi-Square, and Pearson correlation tests at the 5% significance level. Results revealed a significant correlation between dietary preference and ability to identify fattier food samples (p < 0.05). The majority of participants (79%) that correctly identified reduced-fat or regular-fat containing food types preferred the regular-fat-containing version (p < 0.05). Gender, but not BMI, was significantly related to identification of different fat-containing food products. The finding provides valuable information about food preferences and eating habits of African-American young adults, and such information could be useful for nutrition education or dietary intervention in the future.
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Vol. 88 • No. 3