Representative image
Representative image

Your posture impacts how you perceive your food: Study

ANI | Updated: Jun 08, 2019 22:52 IST

Washington [USA], June 8 (ANI): If you want to savour your food, standing and eating is a bad option.
According to recent findings, standing while eating can mute taste buds, impacting the taste evaluation, temperature perception, and overall consumption volume of the food that you are eating, recent findings suggest.
As part of a recent study, researchers found out that posture impacts taste perception. They also noticed that food tastes better when you're sitting down.
A team of researchers looked specifically at how the vestibular sense, which is responsible for balance, posture and spatial orientation, interacts with the gustatory sensory system, which impacts taste and flavour.
The researchers found that holding a standing posture for even a few minutes prompts physical stress, muting taste buds.
The force of gravity pushes blood to the lower parts of the body, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood back up to the top of the body, accelerating heart rate. This activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and leads to increased concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol.
This chain reaction reduces sensory sensitivity, which impacts food and beverage taste evaluation, food temperature perception and overall consumption volume.
When people experience discomfort, foods that normally taste good do not appear as pleasant to the palate. Biswas confirmed his hypothesis by having 350 participants rate the tastiness of a pita chip. Those who were standing gave it a less favourable rating than those who were sitting in a padded chair.
Researchers then provided participants with classic bite-sized brownies baked at a local restaurant that was tested and widely considered pleasant tasting. Those who were sitting down rated them to be most delicious.
However, when the baker altered the recipe and made the taste unpleasant by adding an extra 1/4 cup of salt, the results were the opposite. Participants standing up didn't notice the brownies tasting saltier to that extent and actually rated them to have a relatively more favourable taste perception than those who sampled them while sitting down.
According to the researchers, these findings suggest that parents might be able to make unpleasant-tasting, healthy foods seem more palatable to reluctant children by having them eat standing up (vs. sitting down). In a similar vein, it might be beneficial to maintain a standing posture when consuming pharmaceutical products that have unpleasant tastes. (ANI)