Posts Tagged ‘sweet tastes’

BBC News (2/10, http://tinyurl.com/sweetteeth) reports that certain children are especially drawn to very sweet tastes.  These were children who had a close relative with an alcohol problem or who themselves had symptoms of depression.  But it is unclear if the preference for the very sweet is down to genuine chemical differences or environmental effects.  The researchers say sweet taste and alcohol trigger many of the same reward circuits in the brain.  Certain groups of children may be especially attracted to the intense sweetness due to their underlying biology.  In the latest study, the scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center asked 300 children aged five to 12, of whom half had a family member with alcohol dependency, to taste five sweet water drinks containing different amounts of sugar.  The children were asked to say which tasted the best and were also asked questions to check for depressive symptoms.  A quarter had symptoms that the researchers believed suggested they might be depressed.  Liking for intense sweetness was greatest in the 37 children who had both a family history of alcoholism and reported depressive symptoms.


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