The Effects of Food Neophobia and Food Neophilia on Diet and Metabolic Processing


Past research shows that food neophobics (those individuals reluctant to try novel foods) and food neophilics (those individuals overtly willing to try novel foods) differ in terms of sensory evaluations, psychophysical ratings, stimulus sampling, physiological responses, and genetic predispositions. The present study assessed whether such factors had an effect on participants’ dietary consumption and subsequent nutritional adequacy. One hundred and sixteen participants, aged 18 - 76 years, completed a food diary for three days as well as several eating-related questionnaires. Nutritional summaries and questionnaire scores were subjected to a multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) with participants being sorted into three groups depending on their Food Neophobia Score. These three groups consisted of food neophobics, average individuals, and food neophilics. Groups were found to differ significantly on dietary intake of 20 specific nutritional and caloric items, with food-neophobics typically having the lowest intake. Implications support the initial hypothesis of food neophobics having less nutritionally plentiful diets than food neophilics, thus leading food neophobics to have a nutritionally deficient diet. This finding is important since decrease in nutritional intake can result in health related deficiencies.

Share and Cite:

A. Capiola and B. Raudenbush, "The Effects of Food Neophobia and Food Neophilia on Diet and Metabolic Processing," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 10, 2012, pp. 1397-1403. doi: 10.4236/fns.2012.310183.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] P. Rozin, “The Use of Characteristic Flavorings in Human Culinary Practice,” In: C. M. Apt, Ed, Flavor: Its Chemical, Behavioral and Commercial Aspects, Westview Press, Boulder, 1977.
[2] P. Pliner and K. Hobden, “Development of a Scale to Measure the Trait of Food Neophobia in Humans,” Appetite, Vol. 19, No. 2, 1992, pp. 105-120. doi:10.1016/0195-6663(92)90014-W
[3] B. Raudenbush and A. Capiola, “Physiological Responses of Food Neophobics and Food Neophilics to Food and Non-Food Stimuli,” Appetite, Vol. 58, No. 3, 2012, pp. 1106-1108. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2012.02.042
[4] E. Carter, V. Donely, C. Sonson, N. Santaniello, M. Stanely and B. Raudenbush, “PTC Sensitivity Differentiates Food Neophobics and Food Neophilics,” Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, Dublin, 25-29 July 2000.
[5] B. Raudenbush, N. Corley, N. R. Flower, A. Kozlowski, and B. Meyer, “Cephalic Phase Salivary Response Differences Characterize Level of Food Neophobia,” Appetite, Vol. 41, No. 2, 2003, pp. 211-212. doi:10.1016/S0195-6663(03)00059-X
[6] H. Tuorila, H. L. Meiselman, R. Bell, A. V. Cardello and W. Johnson, “Role of Sensory and Cognitive Information in the Enhancement of Certainty and Liking for Novel and Familiar Foods,” Appetite, Vol. 23, No. 3, 1994, pp. 231-246. doi:10.1006/appe.1994.1056
[7] B. Raudenbush, N. Corley, N. R. Flower, A. Kozlowski and B. Meyer, “Nutritional Intake Differences in Food Neophobics and Neophilics,” Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, Philadelphia, 24 July 2001.
[8] D. M. Garner, M. P. Olmstead and J. Polivy, “Development and Validation of a Multidimensional Eating Disorder Inventory for Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia,” International Journal of Eating Disorders, Vol. 2, No. 2, 1983, pp. 15-34. doi:10.1002/1098-108X(198321)2:2<15::AID-EAT2260020203>3.0.CO;2-6
[9] D. M. Garner and P. E. Garfinkel, “The Eating Attitudes Test: An Index of the Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa,” Psychological Medicine, Vol. 9, No. 2, 1979, pp. 273-279. doi:10.1017/S0033291700030762
[10] S. Coker and D. Roger, “The Construction and Preliminary Validation of a Scale for Measuring Eating Disorders,” Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Vol. 34, No. 2, 1990, pp. 223-231. doi:10.1016/0022-3999(90)90056-A
[11] R. A. Frank and B. Raudenbush, “Individual Differences in Approach to Novelty: The Case of Human Food Neophobia,” In: R. R. Hoffman, M. F. Sherrick and J. S. Warm, Eds., Viewing Psychology as a Whole: The Integrative Science of William N. Dember, American Psychological Association, Washington DC, 1998, pp. 227-245. doi:10.1037/10290-010
[12] C. W. Taber and C. L. Thomas, “Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary,” F. A. Davis, Philadelphia, 1997.
[13] P. Pliner, M. Pelchat and M. Grabski, “Reduction of Food Neophobia in Humans by Exposure to Novel Foods,” Appetite, Vol. 20, No. 2, 1993, pp. 111-123. doi:10.1006/appe.1993.1013
[14] P. Pliner, “The Effect of Mere Exposure on Liking for Edible Substances,” Appetite, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1982, pp. 283-290. doi:10.1016/S0195-6663(82)80026-3
[15] B. Raudenbush and R. A. Frank, “Assessing Food Neophobia: The Role of Stimulus Familiarity,” Appetite, Vol. 32, No. 2, 1999, pp. 261-271. doi:10.1006/appe.1999.0229

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.