Eating habits are partly genetic

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Eating habits and tastes are partly under genetic control, suggests a new scientific study in twins. This study was carried out with 2,590 "true" and "false" twins.

Scientific studies on "true" and "false" twins (that is, monozygotes sharing the same genetic inheritance and dizygotes) have the advantage of making it possible to determine with more or less certainty what depends in part on the genes and what is the order of the acquired, as opposed to the innate.

Published in the Twin Research and Human Genetics journal of the "Cambridge University Press", a new study carried out in 2,590 monozygotic and heterozygous twins with a mean age of 58 years has made it possible to establish the partially genetic origin of eating habits.

Researchers at Kings College London (UK) analyzed participants responses to dietary questionnaires, using nine "dietary indices" commonly used in nutritional epidemiology.

Then the team found that identical twins, or "real" twins, were more likely to have similar scores on all nine dietary indices than non-identical twins. This difference could be seen even after controlling for various bias factors such as body mass index, exercise levels, smoking, and alcohol use.

For researchers, this is proof that there is a genetic component to eating habits and tastes. Clearly, there are genetic predispositions that make people like to eat this or that type of food.

"We know from previous studies with twins that there is a strong genetic component in specific foods such as coffee and garlic, as well as in general eating habits. Our latest study is the first to show that dietary and nutritional intake, measured by nine indices dietary, it is also partially under genetic control, "said Olatz Mompeó-Masachs, lead author of the study.

For the researcher, these results may have future implications in awareness campaigns on balanced nutrition among the general population.

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