North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
How Are Your Tastebuds?
Taste-Testing Experiments Conducted at Duke
Two distinguished economists at Duke
iiave been awarded a National Science
Foundation grant to study the effects of
the trend toward zero population growth
on the nation's economy.
The two are Dr. Joseph J. Spengler,
James B. Duke professor emeritus of
economics, and Dr. Juanita M. Kreps, also
a James B. Duke professor of economics.
One of Spengler's primary interests over
Car Pool Service
The university is starting a program to
aid people who might want to form or
join a car pool.
Here's the way it will work:
This week large maps of Durham
County were to be mounted in the
Traffic Office at 2010 Campus Drive, in
the Allen Building, West Union Building,
Biological Sciences Building,
Computation Center, East Duke Building
and in Duke Hospital.
The map's location in the hospital is a
corridor wall beside the Personnel Office,
first floor of the Yellow Zone.
The county map will be divided into
Determine the number of the county
zone in which you live and put that
number in the designated blank on a Car
Pool Information Form, copies of which
will be distributed by payroll clerks
today. They also are available at both the
main campus traffic office and the
medical center's Parking and Traffic
Office, 350 Bell Building.
People who live outside of Durham
County should put the name of their
community in place of the county zone
number on the form.
The completed forms are to be sent to
the Traffic Office, 2010 Campus Drive,
and people may go there to determine the
names of people living in their area with
whom they might form car pools.
Questions concerning car pools may be
directed to Ext. 5773 at the medical
center and Ext. 3348 on the main
If you were blindfolded, with only
your nose and tongue to guide you, could
you mistake a banana for eggplant? A
lemon for macaroni? Or beef for tuna
These were some of the mistakes that
were made when researchers at Duke set
out to test how sensitive various groups
of people are to the taste and smell of
foods they eat every day.
The group with the keenest knack for
identifying foods were the obese patients
from Duke's Dietary Rehabilitation
Clinic. Those who scored worst were a
group of elderly volunteers. In between
were younger people of normal weight.
Sixty-nine per cent of the obese
patients recognized the strained bananas.
the past 40 years has been problems of
population and resources, and Kreps is a
widely known specialist in the economics
The $67,000 grant is from Research
Applied to National Needs (RANN), a
section of the National Science
Foundation. The two economists will be
working as research investigators in the
Center for the Study of Aging and
Dr. George Maddox, director of the
center, said demographers have forecast
that the nation is moving toward a stable
population in which the number of births
will equal the number of deaths.
Throughout the history of the United
States, the birth rate has far outstripped
the death rate.
As the birth rate goes down, the
proportion of elderly people in our
population grows, Maddox said. No one
yet knows just what percentage of the
population will be in the elderly age
bracket when we re^h zero population
growth, he said.
This will be one of the questions
Spengler and Kreps will address. Another
area deals with the economic implications
of the emerging age structure of the
There will be more people in the aged,
often dependent, years who must be
supported by the smaller proportion of
people who are In their earning and
producing years. Will this be compensated
for by the smaller number of dependent
children the work force must support?
How large will the work force of the*
future be, when fewer young pteople are
coming into it? Will we need to change
the character of the labor force, by
raising the retirement age, for example?
"After all these years of talking about
zero population growth, are we ready to
face the economic and social implications
of it?" Maddox asked.
A printed report of the study will be
prepared and circulated to business and
government leaders by the National
Science Foundation, and the aging center
will sponsor a workshop to acquaint
policy and decision-makers with the
but only 41 per cent of the normal
weight group and 24 per cent of the
elderly group recognized it. Sonne of the
guesses given by the elderly volunteers
included eggplant, mango, tomato,
rhubarb and apricot.
Dr. Susan Schiffman, assistant
professor of medical psychology,
conducted the experiments as part of an
effort to determine the nature of taste
and ways that this knowledge could be
"We know that older people often
complain that most of the food they eat
tastes bitter or sour," she said. "One of
the flavors which they identified most
readily in the experiment was coffee,
which is bitter.
"It seems that as people grow older
the taste buds in the front—the ones
responsible for identifying sweet and
salty tastes—atrophy first, and the bitter
and sour ones last," Dr. Schiffman said.
She said taste experiments such as hers
may help to identify foods that older
people like best and lead to ways to
enhance the flavors of foods and improve
the diets of older people.
Information on obese patients'
sensitivities to the taste and smell of food
could lead to ways to help them change
their eating habits, she said.
For example, although the obese
patients were the best at recognizing the
foods they were given during the
experiment, they disliked most of the
Dr. Schiffman said this may be partly
because of the way the food was
prepared. The foods were prepared
without seasoning then put through a
blender or strainer until they were the
consistency of baby food.
"When we asked the obese patients
what foods they did like and what they
ate most, they mentioned tactile, crunchy
things like popcorn, potato chips and
pizza," Dr. Schiffman said.
She said that apparently the texture
and crunchiness of foods is important to
(Continued on page 3)
6ukc univcRsity mcdicM ccntcR.
VOLUME 21, NUMBER 6
FEBRUARY 8. 1974
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLIN
Economists Receive Grant
To Examine Z.P.G. Effects
H'HAT'S HAPPENING WITH THIS FELLOW?~Obv\ous\y in the first panel he has a
question on his mind, but as he leaves the Personnel Office in the second panel, his
question has been answered. Personnel Director Wayne Gooch and Personnel Assistant
Bob New realize that personnel procedures, employee benefits and other subjects
related to someone's employment at Duke aren't always easily understood. Beyond
that, many people just aren't aware of their benefits. So Gooch and New have offered
to provide a column on personnel activities to INTERCOM weekly. They hope the
column will stimulate questions from employees. The column will be known as
"Personal Paragraphs." (Artwork by Bob Blake)
This is a new column for and about employees, faculty and staff at the medical
center. The subject matter will cover a wide spectrum of personnel policies, benefits,
federal and state regulations, payroll information, wage and salary data, and many
other matters affecting employees at Duke.
Questions from readers are encouraged. If you have a question, send it to:
Box 3017, Duke Medical Center
All inquiries must be signed, but you may request that your name not be used if your
letter is published. All questions will be answered or referred to an appropriate source,
but only questions of wide, general interest will be published. "Personnel Paragraphs"
is your column, so let us hear from you.
For 1974, the base amount of annual salary subject to F.l.C.A. Tax is $13,200.
This is up from $10,800 in 1973. The percentage of 5.85% will not change. On your
W-2 form for 1973, some of you may notice that your wages subject to F.l.C.A. are
less than wages subject to federal tax. This is because wages paid on sick leave are not
subject to social security.
FEDERAL TAX FORMS
The Personnel Office, Room 1160 in the Yellow Zone, has a limited supply of
Federal Tax fornns for employee's use.
(Contin.. id on page 2)