A new study published in the journal PLOS Biology supports past research that suggests the more weight you gain the less you are able to taste the food you eat.
The study, based on research with mice, suggests that obesity-driven inflammation actually reduced the number of their taste buds on their tongues.
There are 50 to 100 receptor cells in each taste bud.
They’re tasked with detecting the five primary tastes – salt, bitter, sour and umami.
These receptor cells are said to have a short lifespan, dying off in about 10 days.
As cells die they are replaced with new ones.
The researchers noted that a group of obese mice fed a high-fat diet, had about 25% fewer taste buds than mice in the lean group, fed a normal diet.
The study found, in the obese mice, that the rate of dying taste bud cells increased while regeneration of new cells slowed.