Genetic influences on dietary variety - Results from a twin study

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


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 (US)
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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