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Obese people have weaker taste buds, study says

Researchers in Germany found that weight seemed to blunt a person's ability to taste, prompting the obese to consume ever larger quanities to taste the flavors in what they are eating.

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A new study says that obese kids' sense of taste declined as they gained weight. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Obese children were found in a new study to have less sensitive taste buds than their peers whose weight was considered normal.

Researchers in Germany found that weight seemed to blunt a person's ability to taste, prompting the obese to consume ever larger quanities in order to taste the flavors in what they are eating.

The study examined 193 healthy children aged 6 to 18.

About half of the children were overweight while the other half were of normal weight.

Researchers made the children place "taste strips" on the tongue, representing five taste sensations: bitter, sweet, salty, sour, and umami (an earthy flavor), said MyHealthDailyNews.

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The kids ranked the intensity of each of the 22 strips and marked down which taste sensation they represented.

It was found that the kids could tell the difference between sweet and salty but had trouble distinguishing the rest, said Time.

Obese children not only had trouble distinguishing flavors more than others, but also recorded much less taste intensity.

The study does no prove that obesity and taste are causally related.

Many researchers believe that genes, hormones and life experience play a big role in determining intensity of flavors, said Today.

In the meantime, it's more bad news for the overweight

The study was published in the journal, Archives of Disease in Childhood.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120920/obese-people-have-weaker-taste-buds-study-says