Leading international experts to address our desire for sweet taste at the european congress on obesity 2015


Posted: 01 April 2015

Brussels 30 April 2015: Our desire for sweetness is something we universally share and has fascinated scientists and health experts for decades. It has resulted in a plethora of scientific studies on the subject which assess the impact of internal and external factors on our consumption behaviour in relation to sweet products. These studies are very important when evaluating low calorie sweeteners on our desire for, and gaining a better understanding of their impact on our intake of, sweet products, appetite, satiety, and weight management, especially in the context of rising non-communicable diseases such as obesity and associated health challenges.

On the occasion of the 22nd European Congress on Obesity (ECO) this year, the International Sweeteners Association (ISA) will be hosting an insightful session on 'Sweetness in everyday life: a scientific review of our appetite for sweet taste and the effect on weight management' – led by international experts in the fields of science and nutrition. Touching on the very topical subject of the management of sweet taste in our daily life, they will present the latest results into case studies and research on sweet taste, food intake behaviour and appetite for sweet products, the impact on body weight, and the role low calorie sweeteners can play.

“Evolution has shaped the human response to sweet taste. Thus, the liking for sweet foods and beverages reflects the basic biology of the organism”, confirms Dr France Bellisle, from the Université Paris 13, France, and Université Laval, Québec, Canada, in a recent review of scientific literature. She adds that “The liking for sweetness decreases during growth and stabilizes in young adults, under the combined influences of culture, personal experience with foods and genetic factors”.

Chaired by Dr Graham Finlayson, from the University of Leeds (UK), and led by Dr France Bellisle, Prof Hely Tuorila (University of Helsinki, Finland) and Dr Graham Finlayson, this symposium will bring a new perspective to our desire for sweetness:

  • Dr France Bellisle will touch on human appetite for sweetness from birth to adult age, looking at sensory and behavioural aspects, with a focus on the impact of low calorie sweeteners on consumers’ response to sweetness;
  • Prof Hely Tuorila will address the metabolic aspect of the sensory impact of sweetness and exclusively present her latest findings from a study currently being rolled out on Finnish and British twins populations on responses to sweetness;
  • Dr Graham Finlayson will touch on the hedonic impact of sweetness on appetite, palatability and food intake.

Full coverage of the symposium will be available on our website. Information about our programme and speakers feature here.

You can also follow and join the debate live on Twitter on Friday 8th May from 13.15 CET by following @SweetenersAndU and using #ISAatECO.

About ECO

ECO is the official annual congress of the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) and attracts each year more than 2,000 participants from over 75 counties, bringing together research and health professionals in the field of obesity and its related conditions. This congress will provide the opportunity for discussion and information sharing on key issues and latest research related to obesity.