Soy consumption is a matter of taste
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URBANA -- Although adding soy to a woman's diet has been
linked to many health benefits, a recent study at the University of
Illinois found that a negative attitude toward the taste of soy
appears to be a stumbling block.
"Among the women in the survey who evaluated the sensory qualities
of soy, more believed that soy products had an unpleasant taste and
texture," said Chapman-Novakofski associate professor and
nutritionist at the U of I. "This suggests that although there have
been tremendous efforts to improve the taste and texture of soy
foods, the ones produced today are still perceived to be
"An important key is the word 'perceived.' Nearly half of the women
we surveyed hadn't even tried soy products," said Chapman-Novakofski.
"They probably aren't likely to either if their perception is that
they taste bad. And, of the half who had tried soy foods, when asked
about specific health benefits of soy foods, more than two-thirds
responded with 'don't know.' That tells me that there is a big need
for additional education about the nutritional benefits of soy."
A daily intake of soy protein has been examined for various
beneficial effects on women's health, including risk reduction for
cardiovascular diseases, cancer, osteoporosis and menopausal
symptoms; but less than 10 percent of the women in the study
consumed it on a daily basis. "Although our sample was not large
enough to generalize, it does show that many women's soy consumption
is still low," said Chapman-Novakofski. "Our results on intake were
much lower than other studies have reported."
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In the study, 205 women (103 black and 102 white) were asked
questions about soy. The purpose of the study was to learn more
about women's attitudes toward soy and how their attitudes affected
their consumption of soy products; how nutrition education about soy
can be improved; and whether or not race played a part in women's
perspectives and consumption of soy.
Among women who said they consumed soy foods, the majority were
consuming them rarely or several times a year. Less than 10 percent
were consuming soy products daily or weekly, and most of the women
said that they didn't intend to purchase soy foods anytime in the
This project was partially supported by the University of Illinois
College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Agricultural Experiment Station.
[University of Illinois