The influence of heredity upon diet is not very striking. Children are sometimes supposed to inherit likes and dislikes for particular foods, whereas they are merely acquired tastes from the circumstance that they have certain foods offered them at home to the exclusion of others. The functions of the stomach and intestines appear to be somewhat hereditary. Violent seasickness and a tendency to biliousness and constipation in some persons and the prompt vomiting of the contents of an overloaded stomach in others is sometimes a family trait, running through three or four generations. So is occasionally the inability to digest special foods, such as crustaceans, strawberries, etc., but such instances are rare.

Unfortunately, the abuse of alcohol is very strongly hereditary - so much so that the children of inebriate parents should be protected as long as possible from learning the taste of either beery wine, or spirits.

Heredity has some influence in disorders of food assimilation, like gout and diabetes, and in such cases improper diet and careless habits of eating may develop latent disease.