“You Are What You Eat:” Self-Reported Preferences for Food Taste and Cooking Methods of Adult Filipinos (20-50 years old)

Nina T. Castillo-Carandang,1,2,3 Olivia T. Sison,1,3 Felicidad V. Velandria,3
Rody G. Sy,3,4,5 Elmer Jasper B. Llanes,3,4 Paul Ferdinand M. Reganit,3,4
Wilbert Allan G. Gumatay3 and Felix Eduardo R. Punzalan3,4

1Department of Clinical Epidemiology, College of Medicine,
University of the Philippines Manila
2Institute of Clinical Epidemiology, National Institutes of Health,
University of the Philippines Manila
3LIFECourse Study In Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology (LIFECARE) –
Philippines Study Group, Lipid Research Unit,
UP–Philippine General Hospital (PGH), UP Manila
4Department of Medicine, College of Medicine and
Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila
5Cardinal Santos Medical Center, San Juan City, Metro Manila

Objective. To describe the self-reported preferences for food taste and cooking methods of adult Filipinos (20-50 years old).

Methods. This is a cross-sectional community survey of 3,072 adults from Metro Manila, Bulacan, Batangas, Quezon, Rizal.

Results and Conclusion. There were differences in preferred tates of males (food that tated "just right", spicy) vs. females (salty); younger adults (sweet, salty, spicy) vs. those with less schooling who liked food which tasted "just right." Smokers preferred spicy taste vs. non-smokers who liked sweet-tasting food. Adults who reported having had alcohol intake preferred spicy food. Those who reported feeling stressed liked savoury taste (sweet, salty) while those who were not stressed liked food which tasted "just right." Cooking with oil was the usual and the most preferred cooking  method. Younger adults and smokers liked to use oil in cooking. Food which tasted "just right"/moderate was most preferred  by adult Filipinos with hpertension or MeTS. Diabetics did not prefer sweet tasting food. More diabetics (p=0.05) and those with MeTS (p=0.003) usually use other cooking methods instead of frying. Eliciting self-reported taste preferences as well as the usual and preferred cooking methods is important for nutritional management and relevant lifestyle
advice which healthcare providers should incorporate in their management of patients, specially those with hypertension, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

Keywords: self-reported taste preferences, cooking methods, Philippines, LIFECARE Study