by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
Here’s some interesting information from the Taste Lab at the University of Florida. Researchers there found that compared to the general population, overweight people tend to taste their food less intensely. In other words, sweet foods don’t taste as sweet to them.
What’s this got to do with ears you ask? Just this. The researchers also found that “those over 35 who had suffered several ear infections had almost double the chance of being obese.” (1)
One theory why this happens is that middle ear infections can damage the taste nerve that runs by the middle ear. Thus, people who have had several ear infections now “have a higher threshold for sensing sweetness and fattiness.” As a result, they eat more to get the same level of satisfaction from their food. These extra calories each day add up over time, and so do the pounds.
Since most ear infections occur in young children, the key is to avoid these childhood ear infections in the first place. Such infections are typically brought on by colds. One thing that significantly reduces the incidence of childhood colds is avoiding passive smoke. In other words, don’t smoke around your children!
I can identify with this. You see, my dad was a chain smoker. As a young boy, I breathed in a lot of passive smoke. When my dad died suddenly, my health improved dramatically. Gone were my colds and ear infections. Since then, I have never had another ear infection.
However, one thing the above researchers don’t seem to have considered is that eating quantities of sweets suppresses your immune system so you are more susceptible to any colds going around.
Thus, the typical diet of sweets, candy and junk food paves the way to getting colds, and the resulting ear infections. It’s much better to change your diet and eat raw fresh fruits and vegetables. You’ll be able to say goodbye to most colds and ear infections, and the excess pounds too!
(1) Ear Infections Can Taint Your Taste Buds. In Reader’s Digest. January 2009. p. 92.