Prefer tea over coffee? It could be your genes, study finds

(CNN)Whether you're inclined to choose coffee or green tea for your morning boost could be determined by your genes, a recent study found.

To examine genetic associations with food preferences, researchers from the Riken Center for Integrative Medical Sciences (IMS) and Osaka University in Japan studied the genetic data and food preferences of more than 160,000 people in Japan.
The research, published in the journal Nature Human Behavior, found genetic links for 13 dietary habits including consumption of alcohol, other beverages and foods, and also complex human diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
    "We know that what we eat defines what we are, but we found that what we are also defines what we eat," said Yukinori Okada, Senior Visiting Scientist at Riken IMS and professor at Osaka University, in a press release.

    The relationship between our genes and our favorite foods

    Genome studies are typically conducted to associate specific genetic variations with particular diseases, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the US National Institutes of Health.
    This involves grouping thousands of people together depending on whether they have a disease and looking at DNA markers called single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, which can be used to predict the presence of that disease. If researchers find a SNP that is repeatedly associated with the disease group, they can assume that people with that genetic variation might be at risk for the disease.
    Rather than looking at diseases, the Riken team examined dietary habits to find out if there were