People who are insensitive to the taste of fat are at increased risk of overeating and gaining weight, according to Australian researchers.
This is because they feel less full than fat-sensitive people and so are likely to eat bigger meals, say the Deakin University researchers.
They monitored how much different people ate at a lunch buffet after eating a high-fat breakfast.
The study, published in the journal Appetite, follows a previous Deakin study that shows fat is part of the tongue's taste range, along with sweet, salty, sour and other taste attributes.
"These results suggest the ability to taste fat is linked with the fullness experienced from fat," says Deakin Professor Russell Keast.
Fatty food is associated with people being overweight or obese and it is becoming clear that the ability to taste fat is a factor, he says.
"Some people have a high sensitivity to the taste of fat and are likely to eat less fatty foods."Others are less sensitive and cannot taste fat, and are more likely to overeat fatty foods."