Taste preference and psychopathology.
OBJECTIVE: Excessive food intake has been linked to many factors including taste preference and the presence of psychopathology. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between sweet and salty taste preference and psychopathology in patients with severe obesity. METHODS: A consecutive series of patients applying for bariatric surgery was recruited for the study. Taste preference was self-reported. Psychopathology was assessed using the revised version of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2). 190 patients were included in the study. RESULTS: In comparison with patients who had salty taste preference, patients with sweet taste preference had significantly higher elevations on the depression (OD: 4.090, p = 0.010) and the hysteria (OD: 2.951, p = 0.026) clinical scales of the MMPI-2. CONCLUSION: The results suggest the presence of an association between taste preference and psychopathology. The findings may be of interest for clinicians who are involved in the treatment of obesity. In particular, they may wish to pay increased attention to patients with sweet taste preference or who have a strong attraction for both sweet and salty foods, in order to detect psychopathology and to adapt the treatment.