Picky eaters have different genes

The picky eaters in your life may actually be Supertasters, which are the 25 percent of the population who are extremely sensitive to certain flavors. Turns out they aren't trying to be a pain in the patoot; they're at the mercy of their genetic makeup.

Picky eaters can sometimes be a pain, but it's not their fault. Blame their parents. Linda Bartoushuk, a taste researcher at Yale University, has identified a group of people she calls "supertasters" because of their genetic makeup. Supertasters, who make up 25 percent of the population, are extremely sensitive to certain flavors, especially bitter and spicy ones. And more women are supertasters than men, 35 percent of women compared to 10 percent of men.

The reason for their supertasting ability is they have about twice as many taste buds per square centimeter on their tongues as normal tasters do.

There's a third group of non-picky eaters with very low taste sensitivity that Bartoushuk calls non-tasters. They're easy to please, but make up only 25 percent of the population.