The Science Behind Your Sweet Tooth

R29-Lafayette-macaron-1_ErinPhranerPhotographed by Erin Phraner.
We're always hearing that our bodies are simply wired to love sweets — it's a biological holdover from the days when the only sugar available to our ancestors was a dash of honey and the very occasional apple. But, we all differ so much: Some can't make it through the afternoon slump without a bite or two of chocolate while some of us get turned off by sugary treats. So, what's really going on with those intense sugar cravings we experience?
Advertisement
The New York Times offers us a scientifically grounded Q&A on the subject. Why, exactly, do we have a sweet tooth? They explain that the craving for sweets is primarily biological, while the kind you might crave is impacted by your culture and upbringing. So, while American women tend to love chocolate, this isn't globally true.
Also of interest: Craving sweets is more prevalent in families that also have a history of alcoholism, which suggests a genetic component (remember, alcohol gets broken down into sugar). It could be that these families pass down sugar urges or it could be that these families have a genetic predisposition to crave things that make you feel good — both alcohol and sugar do that.
For now, we don't precisely know all the factors that influence our moth-to-the-flame reaction to the Halloween candy aisle, but a scientific approach definitely offers insight. (The New York Times)
Advertisement