Preferred sweetness of a lime drink and preference for sweet over non-sweet foods, related to sex and reported age and body weight

Appetite. 1988 Feb;10(1):25-35. doi: 10.1016/s0195-6663(88)80030-8.


The ideal sugar concentration in a lime drink, the tolerance of deviations from that ideal, the choices between sweet and non-sweet foods, and tea and coffee sugaring habits, were assessed for each individual in an unstratified sample of 344 children and adults of both sexes, and body mass index (BMI) for 241 of them. Lime drink ideal point, hot-drink sugaring habits and the preferences for cake trolley over cheeseboard, flavoured milk shake over ice-cold milk, lemonade or tonic water over soda water and bread and margarine with honey or chocolate spread over plain bread and margarine, were all reliably associated positively with each other. This confirms the reality of the "sweet tooth", but not its extension to all sweet foods, because preferences for carrot over celery and for orange juice over tomato juice were not reliably associated with the other preferences. On average, the men showed a greater sweetness preference than the women. Women and younger subjects showed on average greater preferences for carrot and orange juice over the alternatives. When BMI was disconfounded from age and sex, it did not relate either to the preference for foods and drinks generally regarded as sweet or to the preference for a sweet alternative to a non-sweet vegetable food or drink.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Beverages
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Dietary Carbohydrates*
  • Female
  • Food
  • Food Preferences*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Sucrose


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Sucrose