Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Parham, Ellen S.||King, Sondra L.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Home Economics


Taste; Sucrose; Sugars in human nutrition


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of meal consistency, time span, and weight on ta sensitivity for sucrose. Thirty-three overweight and the five normal weight college females participated in this experiment. Their sucrose recognition thresholds were measured both before and after the administration of an isocaloric liquid or solid meal. Thirty-six of the subjects were immediately after the meal and thirty-two of the subject were tested two hours after finishing the meal. A repeated measures analysis of variance was used to analyze the data. Sixty-nine percent of all subjects were less sensitive after eating, 18%, experienced no change, and 13% showed an increase in sensitivity. The interactions of the consistency of the meal and the weight of the subjects and eating a meal had no significant effects upon the taste sensitivity for sucrose. However, the interaction of the time span between the meal and the final sucrose sensitivity testing and eating a meal had a significant effect upon the subjects' change in sucrose sensitivity. The subjects who were immediately tested after eating the meal had a greater decrease in sucrose sensitivity compared to the two hour delayed group who changed very little. When the incidence of misses was used as a covariate, the effect of time span disappears, suggesting that the observed difference is a change in criteria for sweetness rather than true sensitivity. When the frequency of misses was used as the dependent variable in a repeated measures analysis of variance, the time span was significant again. Physiological changes occurring during the two hour time span could explain these results. The blood glucose concentration, diurnal variations, oral stimulation and a difference in incidence of misses were discussed as possible explanations for the influence of time on sucrose sensitivity.


Includes bibliographical references.


vii, 74 pages




Northern Illinois University

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