Individuals with autism spectrum disorder exhibit atypical taste perception and eating behaviours. However, little is known about the effect of autistic traits on eating behaviours in the general population. This study explored the relationships between autistic traits, taste preferences, taste perceptions, and eating behaviours among Japanese population using an online questionnaire survey. The results showed significant effect of autistic traits on eating behaviours, that people with higher autistic traits tended to have higher selective eating behaviours, such as increased sensitivity to food texture and mixed flavours. Moreover, selective eating behaviours were correlated with the preference for sour taste and aftertaste sensitivity. Those results suggest that eating behaviours can be influenced by the relationship between autistic traits, taste perceptions, and taste preferences. We discuss these results in the context of previous findings, and future investigations into the possibility of solving selective eating problems in individuals with autism.
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