Preschool Kids Hooked on Salt, Sugar and Fat

In a study of preschoolers (aged 3-5), researchers have found that:

  1. A child’s taste preferences begin at home and
  2. The tastes that they crave most often involve salt, sugar and fat
  3. And that these young children could equate their taste preference to brand-name fast-food and soda products.

As a result, the researchers have concluded that given our problem with childhood obesity, “waiting for our children to begin school to teach them how to make wise food choices is a poor decision.”

By the time that they are introduced to healthy eating options at their elementary school, their taste preferences have been strongly influenced towards salt, sweet & fat and are pushing them to reject healthy food and reach for the more familiar junk-food option.


  • “If we want to pursue intervention, we probably need to start earlier.”
  • Parents need to seriously consider the types of foods they expose their young children to at home and in restaurants.
  • “Repeated exposure builds taste preferences.”



Douglas Robb

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, and a student of nutrition and exercise science. He's also the co-founder of the Hive Health Media. Since 2008, Doug has expanded his impact by bringing his real-world experience online via the health & fitness blog – Health Habits.

3 thoughts on “Preschool Kids Hooked on Salt, Sugar and Fat

  • October 23, 2011 at 5:29 am

    quick tip for new parents, Coca~Cola doesn't go in the baby bottle.

  • February 3, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Every time I visit this site, I kept seeing the picture featured on this post, and now I just couldn’t resist posting.

    The other night I was finally able to sit down and watch Food Inc., and it seriously horrified and frightened me. But the salt, sugars, and carbs that are so cheap in the stores –especially compared to healthy and whole foods– is engineered to be that way. How can we fight obesity and educate people on healthier food choices when all too often their health choices are ruled by their wallets?

    Once upon a time, a heavier person was a sign of wealth. Now, the biggest indicator of obesity is income level. How to educate parents to feed their children better foods when their options are so expensive?


  • January 30, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Waiting for school to educate children on anything is a bit late anyway, the basics of everything should be taught by the parents at home. Also, a bad habit is easy to get and difficult to get rid of, specially when it comes to taste as most healthy foods can’t compete with McDonalds…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *