We hypothesize that variation in oral sensation influences chronic disease risk by impacting dietary behaviors. Bitterness of 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) and fungiform papilla (FP) number serve as genetic taste markers. Data support that nontasters (who taste PROP as least bitter or have lowest FP number) show dietary behaviors that increase CVD risk (e.g. higher alcohol intake, greater preference for and intake of high-fat and sweet foods) and have greater measured CVD risk (e.g. higher blood pressure, less favorable serum lipids). Taste genetics interacts with environmental factors (e.g. taste-related pathologies) to affect oral sensation, dietary behaviors and disease risk. The generalizability of oral sensory and CVD risk relationships has begun to be tested on diverse samples.