Understanding sweet liking and disliking: re‐evaluating sweet taste as a driver of overconsumption

Date:  Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Time: 12:00 - 13:00 ET


Speaker: Martin R. Yeomans, PhD (School of Psychology, University of Sussex)

Webinar description:
Taste hedonics drive food choices, and food choices affect weight maintenance. Despite this, the idea that hyper-palatability of sweet foods is linked to obesity development has been controversial for decades. The strong affective and rewarding appeal of sweet taste may be a primary reason why sweet-tasting foods and drinks are eaten in excess, independent of the body’s need for energy. From a biological standpoint, taste has long been considered to have a powerful impact on eating behaviour, which involves inputs from different systems, and the final hedonic decision integrates metabolic needs with activity in the brain’s reward regions. This webinar provides a comprehensive review of how taste preferences are developed, different determinants of sweet liking, and our current understanding of how sweet liking relates to body size and obesity.  The conclusions challenge the lay conception of sweet liking driving overconsumption, and instead suggests a more nuanced account of sweet as a risk factor for obesity.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of the webinar, participants should be able to:

  1. Understand how food preference is developed;
  2. Understand individual differences in sweet liking, when they emerge in life and what they tell us about sweetness and sugar in relation to obesity

Moderator: Angelo Tremblay, PhD (Université Laval)

About the Speaker:

Professor Martin Yeomans is currently Professor of Experimental Psychology.  His research centres on the psychology and physiology of motivational controls of eating and drinking, focussed originally at basic physiological controls but more recently concentrating on the role of learning.  Current projects including re-evaluating the role of sweet taste, exploring the impact of habitual diet on cognition and evaluating novel sources of protein for the human diet.  These factors in turn impact on food choice and on causes of overeating. He has published over 150 journal articles and contributions to specialist books.


Webinar sponsored by


The views expressed by speakers or other third parties in CNS webinars, events and/or conferences are those of the speaker or third-party and not necessarily of CNS.

CNS is committed to maintaining responsible and transparent processes with respect to support received from industry partners and sponsors for all CNS activities.  While input from industry partners and sponsors is valued by CNS, final control over session topics and content, speaker participation, award recipients, or other factors related to CNS activities is retained by the Society. All CNS conference program content, educational initiatives and award recipients are reviewed and approved by respective CNS committees.

In the days following the event, Certificates of Attendance are sent by email to attendees who logged into the live webinar as proof of attendance only. Ensure that the name you use on your Zoom registration is how you wish it to appear on your certificate. Certificates will not be emailed to attendees with incomplete names, nor will edits made after certificates have been distributed. NOTE: the email address used for Zoom login is the email where certificates are sent. Be aware that some email service providers have security/firewall/filtering features which can intercept or block the transmission/receipt of certificates.

© 2024 CNS-SCN - Canadian Nutrition Society