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June 10, 1983

Study indicates salt is an acquired taste

JAMA. 1983;249(22):2999-3003. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330460005002

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Which comes first to an infant born in this salt-loving culture? A taste for salt, or a taste of it?

Probably the latter, according to David L. Yeung, PhD, who presented a report at the recent Chicago meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology: Children's taste for salt at the age of 4 years appears to be determined by the amount of salt their parents feed them in infancy.

This finding is the most recent in a long-term, longitudinal study of nutrition in infants and children. The study, which has been under way since 1977, is sponsored by the H. J. Heinz Company of Canada, Ltd, Toronto—where Yeung, who is also associate professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, serves as corporate nutrition coordinator.

In the salt substudy, Yeung and colleagues first examined the sodium chloride intake of 403 infants, half of