Exposure to a slightly sweet lipid-based nutrient supplement during early life does not increase the level of sweet taste most preferred among 4- to 6-year-old Ghanaian children: follow-up of a randomized controlled trial
Date of Original Version
Nutrition and Food Sciences
Background: The impact of feeding a slightly sweet nutrient supplement early in life on later sweet taste preference is unknown.
Objective: We tested the hypothesis that the level of sucrose most preferred by 4–6-y-old children exposed to a slightly sweet lipid-based nutrient supplement (LNS) early in life would not be higher than that of children never exposed to LNS.
Design: We followed up children born to women (n = 1,320) who participated in a randomized trial in Ghana. In one group, LNS was provided to women on a daily basis during pregnancy and the first 6 mo postpartum and to their infants from age 6 to 18 mo (LNS group). The control groups received daily iron and folic acid or multiple micronutrients during pregnancy and the first 6 mo postpartum, with no infant supplementation (non-LNS group). At age 4–6 y, we randomly selected a subsample of children (n = 775) to assess the concentration of sucrose most preferred using the Monell 2-series, forced-choice, paired-comparison tracking procedure. We compared LNS with non-LNS group differences using a noninferiority margin of 5% weight/volume (wt/vol).
Results: Of the 624 children tested, most (61%) provided reliable responses. Among all children, the mean ± SD sucrose solution most preferred (% wt/vol) was 14.6 ± 8.6 (LNS group 14.9 ± 8.7; non-LNS group 14.2 ± 8.4). However, among children with reliable responses, it was 17.0 ± 10.2 (LNS group 17.5 ± 10.4; non-LNS group 16.5 ± 10.0). The upper level of the 95% CI of the difference between groups did not exceed the noninferiority margin in either the full sample or those with reliable responses, indicating that the LNS group did not have a higher sweet preference than the non-LNS group.
Conclusion: Exposure to a slightly sweet nutrient supplement early in life did not increase the level of sweet taste most preferred during childhood. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00970866.
Okronipa, H., Arimond, M., Arnold, C. D., Young, R. R., Adu-Afarwuah, S., Tamakloe, S. M....Dewey, K. G. (2019). Exposure to a slightly sweet lipid-based nutrient supplement during early life does not increase the level of sweet taste most preferred among 4- to 6-year-old Ghanaian children: follow-up of a randomized controlled trial, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 109(4), 1224–1232. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy352
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy352
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