With the objectives to better understand gender-related differences in variables of importance for food intake, and interrelations between these variables, 100 healthy, young women and 100 healthy, young men responded to self-administrated questionnaires about general food rejection, learned illness-associated food aversions, disgust (the Disgust Scale), food neophobia (the Food Neophobia Scale), nausea and appetite. The results show that food rejection and aversions were more common in women (69 and 38%, respectively) than in men (47 and 18%), and that women are more disgust sensitive than men. However, no differences between women and men were observed regarding reasons for rejecting food (predominantly sensory attributes), prevalence of gastrointestinal illness as an associated aversion symptom (95 vs 89%), type of aversive food due to associated illness (predominantly high protein items), or food neophobia. Based on path analyses, a model is proposed of interrelations between disgust, food neophobia, learned food aversions, nausea, appetite, and general food rejection in healthy young adults. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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