The Innate Sweet Tooth
Preference for Sweet-Testing Foods, Drinks
The next time the temptation to indulge in a hot fudge sundae proves overwhelming, take comfort in the knowledge that humans have a built-in predilection for sweet-tasting foods. According to biopsychologist Gary Beauchamp, evidence strongly suggests “that human infants at birth have a ’sweet tooth’ prior to any exposure to carbohydrate sugars.”1 This innate sweet tooth was crucial to humankind's successful struggle to survive, steering primitive beings away from bitter-tasting, poisonous plants and toward calorie-rich, energy-producing sweet ones.
Today, the level of sugar consumption indicates relative wealth. Researchers have observed that as a nation grows rich enough for its people to move from a subsistence diet to a more varied one, sugar intake goes up. It comes as ...