Study on Dietary habits and Body Composition in University Students According to Salty Taste Preference

대학생의 짠 맛 선호도에 따른 식습관 및 체조성에 관한 연구

  • Kim, Kyung-Hee (Department of Food & Nutrtion, Mokpo National University) ;
  • Cho, Hee-Sook (Department of Culinary Art, Chodang University)
  • 김경희 (목포대학교 식품영양학과) ;
  • 조희숙 (초당대학교 조리과학부)
  • Received : 2012.10.22
  • Accepted : 2012.12.05
  • Published : 2012.12.30


This study investigated the effect of salt preference on dietary habits and the body composition of university students. The subjects were divided into two groups: 85 students who dislike salt (salt-dislike (SD) group) and 104 students who like salt (salt-like (SL) group). We found that the SL group showed a higher preference for sweet, sour, spicy, and bitter flavors compared to the SD group. There was no significant difference in the frequency of eating breakfast according to the salt taste preference. The meal speed of the SL group was significantly higher than the SD group (p<0.01) and the body mass index of the SL group ($22.59kg/m^2$) was higher than SD group ($21.04kg/m^2$). The fat mass of the SL group (15.30 kg) was higher than the SD group (12.80 kg) (p<0.01). Salt preference and snack intake frequency had a significant and positive correlation with fat mass. The frequency of eating breakfast, and meal speed also showed a significant and positive correlation with subcutaneous fat. In conclusion, the SL group eats relatively more, speedily and frequently intakes snacks and carbonated drinks, likely resulting in higher body and subcutaneous fat. These results suggest salt preference is related to food choice, influences unreasonable eating habits, and possibly changes body composition. Taste preferences should therefore be considered for dietary consulting and nutritional education.


  1. Ahn EJ, Noh HY, Chung JY, Paik HY. 2010. The effect of zinc status on salty taste acuity, salty taste preference, sodium intake and blood pressure in Korean young adults. Korean J Nutr 43(2):132-140
  2. Bae YJ, Jun YS, Choi YH, Choi MK. 2006. Comparative evaluation of meal variety in Korean adults by age groups. J East Asian Soc Life 16(4):387-398
  3. Blaustein MP, Hamlyn JM. 1983. Role of natriuretic factor in essential hypertension: An hypothesis. Ann Int Med 98(5):785-792
  4. Chang SO. 2010. Effect of a 6-month low sodium diet on the salt taste perception and pleasantness, blood pressure and the urinary sodium excretion in female college students. Korean J Nutr 43(5):433-442
  5. Cho HK, Kim MH. 2010. Dietary behavior and nutrient intake in university female students according to taste preference. J Korean Diet Assoc 16(2):100-115
  6. Chobanian AV, Hill M. 2000. National heart, lung and blood institute workshop on sodium and blood pressure. A critical review of current scientific evidence. Hypertension 35:858-863
  7. Choi KS, Shin KO, Chung KH. 2008. Comparison of the dietary pattern, nutrient intakes and blood parameters according to body mass index of college women in Seoul area. Journal of Korean Society Food Science Nutrition. 37(12):1589-1598
  8. Chung EJ, Shim EG. 2008. Salt-related dietary behaviors and sodium intakes of university students in Gyeonggi-do. J Korean Soc Food Soc Nutr 37(5):578-588
  9. Chung SJ, Lee YN, Kwon SJ. 2004. Factors associated with breakfast skipping in elementary school children in Korea. Korean J Comm Nutr 9(1):3-11
  10. Department of Health. 2004. Choosing health: making health choices easier. UK
  11. Drewnoski A. 1997. Taste preference and food intake. Annu Rev Nutr 17:237-253
  12. Han YS, Joo NM. 2005. An analysis on the factors of adolescence obesity. Korean J. Food Culture 20(2):172-185
  13. Heaney RP, Rafferty K. 2001. Carbonated beverages and urinary calcium excretion. Am J Clin Nutr 74:343-347
  14. Hermann JR. 1990. Effect of cooperative extension nutrition and exercise program for older adults on nutrition knowledge, dietary intake, anthropometric measurements & serum lipids. J Nutr Educ 22(6):271-274
  15. Illuzi S, Cinelli B. 2000. Accordinated school health program approach to adolescent obesity. J Sch Nurs 16(1):12-19
  16. Jung EU, Lim YH, Park MS, Kim MW. 2002. A survey of the consumption of convenience foods. Korean J Comm Nutr 7(2):149-155
  17. Jung YM, Chung KS. Lee SE. 2005. Comparison of health behavior, body composition and body image in college women BMI. Korean J Health Educ & Promot 22(1):87-102
  18. Kim JH. 1980. The nutrient intake and the socio-cultural factors affecting nutrient intake of senior high school girls. Masters degree thesis. Ewha woman university. pp 12
  19. Kim KH. 2003. A study of the dietary habits, the nutritional knowledge and the consumption patterns of convenience foods of university students in the gwangju area. Korean J Community Nutirtion 8(2):181-191
  20. Kim KS, Paik HY. 1992. A comparative study on optimum gustation of salt and sodium intake in young and middleaged Korean women. Korean J Nutr 25(1):32-41
  21. Kim MY, Jung DY, Park HJ. 2008. A study on perceived stress and dietary habits of female college students. Korean Journal of Women Health Nurses. 14(3):181-188
  22. Kim MH, Lee JC, Bae YJ. 2009. The evaluation study on eating behavior and dietary quality of elderly people residing in Samcheok according to age group. Korean J Community Nutr 14(5):495-508
  23. Kim MK, Hur YK, Choi JK. 2004. Interrater and intrater reliability of 'sip and swallow' method for measurement of whole-mouth taste threshold. Korean J Oral Med 29(2):143-151
  24. Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2008. The Fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES IV)
  25. Korean Nutrition Society. 2005. Dietary reference intakes for Koreans. p. 1 KNS publ. Seoul
  26. Ministry of Health & Welfare/Korea Health Industry Development Institute. 2002. 2001 Korean National Health and Nutrition Survey p. 1 MHW publ. Seoul
  27. Ministry of Health & Welfare/Korea Health Industry Development Institute. 2006. The Third Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES III) 2005-Nutrition Survey. p. 1 MHW publ. Seoul
  28. Lee MS, Kwak CS. 2006. The composition in daily intake of nutrients, quality of diets and dietary habits between male and female college students in Daejeon. Korean J Community Nutr 11(1):39-51
  29. Lee SS. 2001. The effect of taste preference on anthropometric measurements and nutrient intakes in children. Korean J Community Nutr 6(2):130-138
  30. Mun SJ, Yoon HJ, Kim JH, Lee YJ. 1998. A study on the perception and consumption pattern of convenience foods by Korean college students. The Korean Socinety of Dietary Culture 13(3):227-239
  31. Mun SJ, Yoon HJ, Kim JH, Lee YJ. 1999. A factor analysis on the value system of convenience foods by Korean college students. J Korea Society of Food & Cookery Science 15(4):327-337
  32. Newby PK, Peterson KE, Berkey CS, Colditz GM. 2004. Beverage consumption is not associated with changes in weight and body mass index among low-income preschool in North Dakota. J Am Diet Assoc 104(7):1086-1094
  33. OH SI. Lee MS. 2006. A study on the characteristics of dietary behaviors and food intake patterns of university students according to the obesity index. Korean Journal of Food and Nutrition. 19(1):79-90
  34. Park HR. 1996. Current nutritional status by different age group. Korean J Comm Nutr 1(2):301-322
  35. Shin EK, Lee HJ, Ahn MY, Son SM, Lee YK. 2010. Estimation of sodium intake of adult female by 24-hour urine analysis, dietary records and dish frequency questionnaire. Korean J Nutr 43(1):1-7
  36. Shin EK, Lee HJ, Ahn MY, Lee YK. 2008. Study on the deveopment and evaluation of validity of salty taste assessment tool. Korean J Nutr 41(2):184-191
  37. Yamauchi Y, Endo S, Sakai F, Yoshimura I. 2002. A new wholemouth gustatory test procedure. I. Thresholds and principal componetns analysis in healthy men and women. Acta Otolaryngol supple 122(4):39-48
  38. Yoon S, Son KH, Kwak DK, Kim JS, Kwon DJ. 1998. Consumer trends on dietary and food purchasing behaviors and perception for the convenience foods. The Korean Society of Dietary Culture 13(3):197-206

Cited by

  1. Differences in Sodium-Intake Related Dietary Behaviors and Correlation Analysis According to Salty Taste Preference of University Students in Busan Area vol.31, pp.4, 2015,