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Terrific Scientific: There Are Genetic Reasons Why Some People Don’t Like Eating Vegetables

Update Date: Feb 03, 2017 08:30 AM EST

Health institutions have always emphasized the importance eating vegetables due to its numerous health benefits. However, most people, when asked why they don't eat vegetables simply answer, "I don't like eating vegetables." Young scientists participating in the latest BBC learning campaign have proven that genetics play a vital role on why some people don't like eating vegetables.

The exposure test saw the young scientists, school children between the ages of 9 and 11, separated into two groups. The first group was asked to eat kale every day for fifteen days. While the other half was asked to eat raisins for the next fifteen days every day.

The experiment found that children who ate kale every day had an increased improvement in liking the vegetable over time. However, the children who were asked to eat raisins every day did not show any improvement in liking raisins.

Armed with a piece of card, blue food dye, and a magnifying glass, the young scientists were able to prove that people who have more 'fungiform papillae' or the part of the tongue that houses the taste buds are more likely to hate eating kale or shows no improvement in liking the green leafy vegetables. These people are categorized as "supertasters".

According to experts from the Centre for Technology-Enabled Health Research (CTEHR), at most 25 percent of the people in the UK may be supertasters. These supertasters are highly sensitive to strong tasting food. Perseverance is needed before supertasters can get to enjoy eating strong tasting foods like kale, olives, coffee, and grapefruits.

Another category that the young scientists found are the "tasters". Tasters are people who are more likely to try different foods with some of the foods they try would be to their disliking. Approximately 50 percent of the population in the UK are said to be tasters.

The rest of the 25 percent of people in the UK are categorized as non-tasters. Non-tasters are people who need more salt, spices, and condiments to make food more palatable to them.

The exposure test is part of the new learning campaign launched by BBC Learning. The program, Terrific Scientific, is part of the 18-month program that brings practical science lessons into the classrooms and students' homes.

Coventry University, along with three other universities in the UK is collaborating with BBC and some famous faces like The VAMPS focus on ten investigations over the course of two years. Currently, there already over 4,000 schools taking part in this learning campaign.

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