Modern Foods Are Too Sweet, Reveals Study
A comprehensive analysis of reviews by Amazon customers has revealed that modern food products are too sweet. This conclusion comes from a study that analysed food product reviews published on Amazon, over the course of a decade. 
 
The study was conducted by researchers from the Monell Chemical Senses Center, who used a ‘sophisticated statistical modelling program’ to find words which relate to a variety of aspects pertaining to food products, such as taste, texture, odour, spiciness, cost, health and customer service. After collating, and sifting through the data, complaints about excessive sweetness within the reviews seemed to eclipse all others. Results of the study have been published in the scientific journal Physiology & Behaviour.
 
“This is the first study of this scale to study food choice beyond the artificial constraints of the laboratory,” said lead author Dr Danielle Reed, a behavioural geneticist at Monell. Researchers looked at 383,568 food reviews published about 67,553 products, by 256,043 Amazon customers, over a 10-year period. With the assistance of machine learning algorithms, researchers were able to go through this vast archive and make determinations about the food, eventually realising that the majority of complaints were about how much sugar or other sweeteners were used in these items. “Sweet was the most frequently mentioned taste quality and the reviewers definitively told us that human food is over-sweetened,” said Dr Reed.
 
“Reading and synthesizing almost 400,000 reviews would essentially be impossible for a human team, but recent developments in machine learning gave us the ability to understand both -- which words are present and also their underlying semantic meaning,” added study co-author Dr Joel Mainland, an olfactory neurobiologist at Monell.  
 
The study found that the ‘too sweet’ complaint impacted nearly 1% of all food product reviews, with excessive sweetness being mentioned 25 times more than complaints about too little sweetness. Furthermore, 11% of the reviews described how sweet a particular product tasted, almost three times more than bitterness. Surprisingly, saltiness was rarely mentioned, even when there has been a lot of public health concern about excess salt consumption.
 
To better understand individual differences in how people respond to a particular food, researchers looked at responses to 10 particular products that received the widest range of ratings - defined by the variability in the number of stars the product received. The analysis revealed that the two main factors that tended to account for polarising reviews for a product were: product reformulation and differing perspectives on the product’s taste. They found that people often rated the sweetness of a product differently. Response to a product’s smell also contributed to differences in opinion about a particular product. 
 
“Genetic difference in taste or olfactory receptor sensitivity may help account for the extreme reactions that some products get and looking at the responses to polarizing foods could be a way to increase understanding of the biology of personal differences in food choice,” explained Dr Reed. 
 
Overall, these results support the importance of taste in real world food ratings and individualised taste experiences, such as whether a product is ‘too sweet’. Researchers are confident that analysis of consumer review datasets is a promising methodology for the emerging field of sensory nutrition, as it can provide information about purchasing decisions and customer sensory responses to commercially available products.
  • Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

    User

    Weight Loss, Muscle Building, Sports Performance or Energy Supplements Linked to ‘Severe Medical Outcomes’
    According to a new research led by Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health, consumption of dietary supplements, peddled for weight loss, muscle building and energy, may be linked to linked to nearly three times as many severe medical outcomes in children and young adults, compared to consumption of vitamins. 
     
    The study was published online on 5 June  2019 in the Journal of Adolescent Health
     
    In the US, Food and Drugs Administration (USFDA) has issued innumerable warnings about supplements aimed at weight loss, muscle building or sport performance, sexual function and energy, which are used by young people. The study was led by Flora Or, a researcher with Harvard Chan School's ‘strategic training initiative for the prevention of eating disorders’.
     
    The data was drawn from adverse event reports between January 2004 and April 2015 in FDA’s adverse event reporting system on the food and dietary supplements database. The researchers analysed the risk for severe medical events which were defined as death, disability and hospitalisation in individuals aged 0 and 25 years.
     
    The researchers found that there were 977 single-supplement-related adverse event reports for the target age group. Of those, approximately 40% involved death and hospitalisation. Offending supplements were associated with almost three times the risk for severe medical outcomes compared to those consuming vitamins. Among the worst were supplements sold for sexual function and colon-cleanse which were associated with approximately two times the risk for severe medical outcomes compared to vitamins.
     
    Many of these supplements were found to be adulterated with prescription pharmaceuticals, banned substances, heavy metals, pesticides and other dangerous chemicals. Earlier, other studies have linked weight loss and muscle building supplements with stroke, testicular cancer, liver damage and even death.
     
  • Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

    User

    COMMENTS

    NARESH GAJRIA

    2 months ago

    Names and Brands have not been specified. Is adulteration the main concern or the content?

    tanay

    3 months ago

    Any muscle building supplement isha waste of money....you can build good muscle by eating natural high protein food and progressive resistance training

    Egg Consumption Does Not Increase Risk of Stroke, Says Study
    Eggs are an unsettled issue in modern nutrition—on the one hand, they have a wealth of valuable nutrients; but, on the other hand, they also contain cholesterol and have, traditionally, been regarded as harmful for cardiovascular health. It is a controversial issue with studies often finding contradictory results. Now, new research has found that eggs consumed in low quantities do not seem to have any detrimental effect on the heart or on blood pressure. 
     
    Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland conducted the research with local participants and the results were published in the journal American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. For the study, the dietary habits of 1,950 Finnish men between the ages of 42 and 60 years, with no history of cardiovascular disease, were analysed. 
     
    Researchers also considered participants who were carriers of a particular protein called E phenotype 4 (APOE4). This protein is known to combine with fats (lipids) in our bodies to form molecules called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are responsible for packaging cholesterol and other fats and then delivering them to cells in the body through the bloodstream. Those who carry this hereditary variant of the protein are particularly vulnerable to the effects of cholesterol. 
     
    The prevalence of the variant APOE4 in Finnish population is exceptionally high, affecting one in three people. Hence, the researchers felt that if eating more than one egg a day causes any heart issue, it would be more clearly visible in the Finnish population first. Yet, data on the association between high intake of dietary cholesterol and the risk of stroke in this population group has not been available, until now. 
     
    The data collated from the study indicated that moderate egg consumption, even daily, does not seem to be associated with greater risk of stroke - even in people who are predisposed to the effects of cholesterol. While this might seem like encouraging news for egg-lovers, the results should not be generalised; it all greatly depends on your total cholesterol intake. In this particular study, eggs represented an overall 25% of the total cholesterol consumption. It should be obvious that if your diet is already rich in cholesterol and fats, egg consumption can be the one thing that might push you over the edge. 
     
    Researchers have also clarified that the study is weakened by the fact that the population in this study had no cardiovascular conditions or diseases. The study is also weakened by the fact that none of the participants had a pre-existing cardiovascular disease and the size of the population studied was also relatively small. Therefore, the findings of the study should be verified in a larger cohort as well as in people with a pre-existing cardiovascular disease, who are currently advised to limit their intake of cholesterol and eggs. 
     
  • Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

    User

    We are listening!

    Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
      Loading...
    Close

    To continue


    Please
    Sign Up or Sign In
    with

    Email
    Close

    To continue


    Please
    Sign Up or Sign In
    with

    Email

    BUY NOW

    online financial advisory
    Pathbreakers
    Pathbreakers 1 & Pathbreakers 2 contain deep insights, unknown facts and captivating events in the life of 51 top achievers, in their own words.
    online financia advisory
    The Scam
    24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
    Moneylife Online Magazine
    Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
    financial magazines online
    Stockletters in 3 Flavours
    Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
    financial magazines in india
    MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
    (Includes Moneylife Online Magazine)