Scientific studies on “true” and “false” twins (that is to say, monozygotes sharing the same genetic heritage, and dizygotes) have the advantage of making it possible to determine with more or less certainty what depends in part on the genes and what is of the order of the acquired, in opposition to the innate.
Published in the journal Twin Research and Human Genetics from Cambridge University Press, a new study carried out on 2,590 monozygotic and heterozygous twins aged on average 58 years has made it possible to establish the partly genetic origin of eating habits.
Researchers from King’s College London (UK) analyzed responses to participants’ food questionnaires, using nine “food indices”Commonly used in nutritional epidemiology.
The team then found that identical twins, or “real” twins, were more likely to have similar scores on all nine food indices than non-identical twins. This difference could be observed even after controlling for various bias factors such as body mass index, exercise levels, smoking and alcohol consumption.
For researchers, this is proof that there is a genetic component in tastes and eating habits. Clearly, there are genetic predispositions that lead to love eating a particular type of food.
“We know from previous twin studies that there is a strong genetic component to specific foods such as coffee and garlic, as well as general eating habits. Our latest study is the first to show thate food and nutritional intake, measured by nine dietary indices, is also partly under genetic control”, Commented Olatz Mompeó-Masachs, lead author of the study. For the researcher, these results may have future implications in campaigns to raise awareness of balanced diets among the general public.