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Starbucks coffee. Pixabay

Whether you choose a dark roast coffee or hoppy beer in the summer, it may actually depend on how the drink makes you feel rather than how it tastes, reveals a genome-based study.

The researchers searched for variations in our taste genes that could explain our beverage preferences because understanding those preferences could indicate ways to intervene in people’s diets.


They found that taste preferences for bitter or sweet beverages are not based on variations in our taste genes but rather genes related to the psychoactive properties of these beverages.

“People like the way coffee and alcohol make them feel. That’s why they drink it. It’s not the taste,” said Marilyn Cornelis, Assistant Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg’s School of Medicine.

For the study published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics, beverages were categorised into a bitter-tasting group and a sweet-tasting group.

Bitter included coffee, tea, grapefruit juice, beer, red wine and liquor.


A pint of beer is poured into a glass in a bar in London, Britain. VOA

The researchers provided questionnaires to about 336,000 individuals asking them to report what they ate and drank over the past 24 hours.

The scientists also did a genome-wide association study of bitter beverage consumption and of sweet beverage consumption.

“To our knowledge, this is the first genome-wide association study of beverage consumption based on taste perspective.

Also Read- Passive Smoking Associated with High Blood Pressure

“It’s also the most comprehensive genome-wide association study of beverage consumption to date,” said Victor Zhong, the study’s lead author.

According to the researcher Marilyn Cornelis, the study highlights important behavior-reward components to beverage choice and adds to our understanding of the link between genetics and beverage consumption — and the potential barriers to intervening in people’s diets. (IANS)


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The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

By Siddhi Jain

Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

four children standing on dirt during daytime 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash


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