P31-028-23 Sensory Perception of Food and Its Influence on Snacking Behaviours Among Adults Residing in the UK




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Sensory perception of food and its influence on snacking behaviours among adults residing in the UK Hannah Johnson1, Stephanie Cook1, Yannan Jin1 1 De Montfort University Objectives Understanding the factors driving food overconsumption is key to tackling the worldwide obesity issue. The link of body weight status with sensory preferences of foods (e.g. sweet and fatty foods) has been suggested, but remains inconclusive as to mixed evidence thus far. The socio-demographic factors’ potential influence on food choices further increases the complexity of the unsolved puzzle. The study aimed to look at the sensory perception of foods and snacking behaviours among adults of different socio-demographic characteristics and body weight statuses in the UK. Study methods It was a cross-sectional study. An online survey was used to determine the participants’ socio-demographic information (age, sex and occupation), Body Mass Index (BMI), sensory-attribute’s liking (e.g. taste and texture) of 45 snack items, frequency of eating snacks (salty, sweet, bitter, sour and savoury) using a 5-point Likert-scale (1 never to less than once a week – 5 more than 3 times a day), and their perceived importance of the appearance, smell, taste and texture of snacks in determining how much they eat, using a 5-point Likert-scale (1 not at all important – 5 extremely important). Data were analysed using Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskal-Wallis Test, SPSS v28.0. Results 56 participants (Mean age 44.6 y; SD 16.2) completed the survey (17 males and 39 females). Their BMI ranged from 15.8 to 39.9 kg/m2 (Mean 27.3, SD 5.6) and was classified into four groups, including underweight (N = 2); normal-weight (N = 22); overweight (N = 16) and obese (N = 16). The results showed that gender variation existed in the frequency of snack intakes including salty (U = 205, P = 0.012, r = 0.3) and bitter (U = 223, P = 0.025, r = 0.3). The frequency of sour-snack intake significantly differed between normal-weight and obese groups (H (3) = 10.3, P = 0.023). Age tended to exert a notable influence on almost all types of snack-intakes, including sweet (H (5) = 12.9, P = 0.024); bitter (H (5) = 11.0, P = 0.049); salty (H (5) = 18.7, P = 0.004) and sour (H (5) = 15.3, P = 0.009). Conclusion Demographic characteristics and body weight status were evidently shown to interplay with individuals’ food preferences and intake behaviours. The growing knowledge in this research area will benefit the future exploration in finding personalised solutions to prevent and manage adulthood obesity. Fund source The study was not funded.


open access article


Sensory perception of food, snacking behaviour, adults


Johnson, H., Cook, S. and Jin, Y. (2023) Sensory perception of food and its influence on snacking behaviours among adults residing in the UK. Current Developments in Nutrition, 7 Supp. 1., 101593


Research Institute

Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research