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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: 6-n-propylthiouracil taster status not related to reported cruciferous vegetable intake among ethnically diverse children

item Baranowski, Tom
item Baranowski, Janice
item Watson, Kathleen
item Jago, Russell
item Islam, Noemi
item Beltran, Alicia
item Martin, Shelby
item Nguyen, Nga
item Tepper, Beverely

Submitted to: Nutrition Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/21/2011
Publication Date: 8/31/2011
Citation: Baranowski, T., Baranowski, J.C., Watson, K.B., Jago, R., Islam, N., Beltran, A., Martin, S.J., Nguyen, N., Tepper, B. 2011. 6-n-propylthiouracil taster status not related to reported cruciferous vegetable intake among ethnically diverse children. Nutrition Research. 31(8)594-600.

Interpretive Summary: Whether a person can taste a chemical (6-n-propylthiouricil, abbreviated as PROP) found in brassica or cruciferous vegetables (e.g. broccoli) has been related to what foods adults and children eat. There have, however, been conflicting findings, using primarily small samples with mostly white-middle class subjects being used. This study tested the PROP cruciferous vegetable intake relationship in two age groups of children (9-10 year olds and 17-18 year olds) since taste preferences change from childhood through adolescence. No significant relationship was detected between PROP sensitivity and cruciferous vegetable intake. As the largest such study ever conducted on this relationship among children, it appears unlikely that sensitivity to the bitter taste of PROP predicts intake of brassica/cruciferous vegetables among children.

Technical Abstract: Sensitivity to the taste of 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) (a bitter chemical related to the phenylthiocarbamide found in cruciferous vegetables) has been related to dietary intake or preferences of cruciferous vegetables among adults and young children but not middle-aged children or adolescents. We hypothesized that PROP taste sensitivity is related to lower reported dietary intake of cruciferous vegetables, primarily among younger children (ie., a moderating effect of child age). This study examined the relationship of PROP sensitivity to reported dietary intake across 3 days in 2 age groups of youth (9-10 and 17-18 years) while statistically controlling for physical activity, social desirability, and reporting bias. Cross-sectional design was used with a multiethnic (white, African American, Hispanic, etc.) sample of 843 men and women. Children were recruited from and data were collected in local elementary and high schools that had at least 30% ethnic minority enrollment. Children providing nonplausible reports of dietary intake were deleted from the analyses. Body mass index was calculated and expressed in z scores. Energy intake and physical activity were measured by 3 telephone-conducted 24-hour dietary recalls with the Nutrient Data System for Research and 5 days of Actigraph (ActiGraph, Shalimar, Florida) activity monitor. The primary analyses included 347 students. 6-n-Propylthiouracil sensitivity was not related to intake of cruciferous vegetables. Intakes of the cruciferous vegetables were low, which may explain the lack of relationship.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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