Influence of food odors on food aversions and preferences in patients with cancer

S. S. Nielsen, A. Theologides, Z. M. Vickers

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Abstract

One hundred thirty-three patients with cancer and 50 healthy controls judged the pleasantness of 10 common food odors and completed questionnaires on food likes or dislikes, recent smell or taste changes, development of food aversions, weight loss, decreased appetite, and early satiety. Chocolate, pork, roast beef, and chicken odors were significantly less pleasant for patients with food aversions (PA) than for controls. Ham, pork, and roast beef odors were significantly less pleasant for PA than for patients without food aversions (PNA). More PA than controls or PNA reported recent smell and taste changes for most of the 10 foods in the sample set. Roast beef was the only food on the questionnaire rated significantly less pleasant by PA than controls or PNA. There were no significant correlations between the odor hedonic scores and the questionnaire's hedonic scores for any of the 10 foods. More PA than PNA had weight loss, decreased appetite, and early satiety. Patients on chemotherapy did not have a significantly greater incidence of aversions, weight loss, decreased appetite, or early satiety than patients not receiving chemotherapy. The type of cancer appeared to have no relation to the development of food aversions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2253-2261
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume33
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 1980

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