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Genetic Differences Explain Preference For Unhealthy Fatty Foods

February 3, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
People who have some forms of a certain gene tend to prefer higher fat foods – half-and-half, sour cream, mayonnaise, bacon, fried chicken, etc. – putting them at greater risk for obesity compared to those without the gene, a U.S. study involving African Americans has found. The gene, CD36, is necessary in animals to both detect and develop preferences for fat. According to the researchers, their discovery helps explain why some people resist a low-fat diet and may one day assist people in selecting diets that are easier to follow. Food formulators might also use the new insight to develop better tasting low-fat foods.
Kathleen L. Keller et al., "Common Variants in the CD36 Gene Are Associated With Oral Fat Perception, Fat Preferences, and Obesity in African Americans", Obesity, February 03, 2012, © The Obesity Society
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