Sweetness is a sensation that contributes to the palatability of foods, which is the primary driver of food choice. Thus, understanding how to measure the appeal (hedonics) of sweetness and how to modify it are key to effecting dietary change for health. Sweet hedonics is multidimensional so can only be captured by multiple approaches including assessment of elements such as liking, preference, and consumption intent. There are both innate and learned components to the appeal of sweet foods and beverages. These are responsive to various behavioral and biological factors, suggesting the opportunity to modify intake. Given the high amount of added sugar intake in the United States and recommendations from many groups to reduce this, further exploration of current hypothesized approaches to moderate sugar intake (e.g., induced hedonic shift, use of low-calorie sweeteners) is warranted.

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This work was supported by the IAFNS Carbohydrates and Low- and No-Calorie Sweeteners Committees.