Relationship between sensory liking for fat, sweet or salt and cardiometabolic diseases: mediating effects of diet and weight status
Previous works have been suggested that individual sensory liking is a predictor of dietary intake and weight status, and may consequently influence development of cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs). We investigated the association between sensory liking for fat-and-salt, fat-and-sweet, sweet or salt and the onset of hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) over 6 years in adults, and the mediating effects of dietary intake and body mass index (BMI).
We examined the CMDs risk among 41,332 (for CVD and diabetes) and 37,936 (for hypertension) French adults (NutriNet-Santé cohort). Liking scores, individual characteristics, diet and anthropometry were assessed at baseline using questionnaires. Health events were collected during 6 years. Associations between sensory liking and CMDs risk, and the mediating effect of diet and BMI, were assessed using Cox proportional hazards models.
Sensory liking for fat-and-salt was associated with an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension and CVD [hazard ratios (HR) for 1-point increment of the sensory score: HR 1.30 (95% CI 1.18, 1.43), HR 1.08 (1.04, 1.13) and HR 1.10 (1.02, 1.19), respectively]. BMI and dietary intake both explained 93%, 98% and 70%, of the overall variation of liking for fat-and-salt liking in diabetes, hypertension and CVD, respectively. Liking for fat-and-sweet and liking for salt were also associated with an increased risk of diabetes [HR 1.09 (1.01, 1.17) and HR 1.09 (1.01, 1.18), respectively], whereas liking for sweet was associated with a decreased risk [HR 0.76 (0.69, 0.84)].
Higher liking for fat-and-salt is significantly associated with CMDs risk, largely explained by dietary intake and BMI. Our findings may help to guide effective targeted measures in prevention.
KeywordsCardiovascular disease Diabetes Hypertension Sensory liking Dietary intake Mediating factor
Body mass index
Reduction of deviance
Reduction in hazard ratio
We thank the scientists, dieticians, technicians and assistants who helped carry out the NutriNet-Santé study, and all dedicated and conscientious volunteers. We especially thank Mohand Aït-Oufella, Paul Flanzy, Yasmina Chelghoum, Véronique Gourlet, Nathalie Arnault and Laurent Bourhis. We thank Voluntis (a healthcare software company) and MXS (a software company specializing in dietary assessment tools) for developing the NutriNet-Santé web-based interface according to our guidelines.
AL conducted the literature review and drafted the manuscript; AL performed analyses; SA, KC, AD, PS, SP, LF, SH and CM were involved in the interpretation of results and critically reviewed the manuscript; and SH and CM were responsible for the development of the design and the protocol of the study. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
This work was supported by the French National Research Agency (Agence Nationale de la Recherche) in the context of the 2008 Programme de Recherche “Alimentation et Industries Alimentaires” (Epipref project, ANR-08-ALIA-006), by the INRA Metaprogramme Did’It (Diet Impact and Determinants Interactions and Transitions), and by the Regional Council of Burgundy France (PARI Agral 1) and the FEDER (European Funding for Regional Economical Development). The Nutrinet-Santé study is supported by the following institutions: Ministère de la Santé (DGS), Institut de Veille Sanitaire (InVS), Institut National de la Prévention et de l’Education pour la Santé (INPES), Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (FRM), Institut de Recherche en Santé Publique (IRESP), Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) and Université Paris 13. The first author was supported by grants from the Region Ile-de-France.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interest.
Ethics approval and consent to participate
This study was conducted according to guidelines laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki, and all procedures were approved by the Institutional Review Board of the French Institute for Health and Medical Research (IRB Inserm no. 0000388FWA00005831) and the “Commission Nationale Informatique et Libertés” (CNIL no. 908450 and no. 909216). Electronic informed consent was obtained from all subjects. This study is registered in EudraCT (no. 2013-000929-31).
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