Genetic influences on dietary variety - Results from a twin study

Benjamin Scheibehenne, Peter M. Todd, Stéphanie Martine van den Berg, Peter K. Hatemi, Lindon J. Eaves, Christian Vogler

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The heritability of variety seeking in the food domain was estimated from a large sample (N = 5,543) of middle age to elderly monozygotic and dizygotic twins from the “Virginia 30,000” twin study. Different dietary variety scores were calculated based on a semi-quantitative food choice questionnaire that assessed consumption frequencies and quantities for a list of 99 common foods. Results indicate that up to 30% of the observed variance in dietary variety was explained through heritable influences. Most of the differences between twins were due to environmental influences that are not shared between twins. Additional non-genetic analyses further revealed a weak relationship between dietary variety and particular demographic variables, including socioeconomic status, age, sex, religious faith, and the number of people living in the same household
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-140
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • METIS-305084
  • IR-91822


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