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Do you have food neophobia? You may be at higher risk of type 2 diabetes

LONDON: Food neophobia — or fear of new foods — may lower the quality of a person’s dietary intake, and increase the risk of lifestyle disorders such as cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. Food neophobia is an eating behaviour trait in which a person refuses to taste and eat food items or foods they are not familiar with. Researchers from University of Helsinki in Finland and University of Tartu in Estonia examined the independent impact of eating behaviour, and especially food neophobia, on dietary quality as well as lifestyle diseases and their risk factors. The FNS questionnaire was also used to measure and quantify the fear of new foods in this study. The study found that food neophobia is linked to poorer dietary quality: for example, the intake of fibre, protein and monounsaturated fatty acids may be lower and the intake of saturated fat and salt greater in food neophobic individuals.

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