Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Mosby, Terezie T.

Committee Member

Tidwell, Diane K.

Committee Member

Peterson, Daniel G.

Committee Member

Buys, David R.

Committee Member

Cheng, Wen-Hsing

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion


Taste impacts the palatability and intake of food, which is influenced by several factors such as cultural and genetic factors. Individual variations in taste perception may be important risk factors for poor eating habits and development of obesity. The differences in taste perception which impact dietary intake may lead to better understanding of obesity development and prevention of diet-related diseases. Obesity is one of the main causes for various health conditions in the United States as well as in the world. Genetic inheritance plays an important role in individual variations to taste and food choices. This study explored associations between two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, rs713598 and rs10246939) in the TAS2R38 bitter taste receptor gene, dietary intake, and body fat percentage. Five hundred presumably healthy students aged 18-25 years, including 86 (17%) males and 414 (83%) females from Mississippi State University participated in the study. Saliva was collected for genetic analysis, participants completed dietary history questionnaires and body composition was measured using bioelectrical impedance analysis. All statistical analysis of data was conducted using SPSS software to examine associations between SNPs, food intake, and percentage of body fat. Our results did not show a significant association between the SNPs; rs713598 and rs10246939 in the TAS2R38 bitter taste receptor gene and dietary intake of vegetables and fruits as well as percentage of body fat in this group of participants. However, alcohol and caffeine intakes were significantly different between genotypes in rs713598; p< 0.01, p< 0.05, respectively.