Children with a particularly sweet tooth may be depressed or at a higher risk of future alcohol problems in the future, researchers say.
The US team report in the journal Addiction discovered that children who had a close relative with an alcohol problem or who themselves had symptoms of depression were especially drawn to sweets.
It is unclear if the preference is related to genuine chemical differences or upbringing. The team did link sweet tastes and alcohol with many of the same reward circuits that trigger in the brain.
Cardiff University's Professor Tim Jacob, an expert in smell and taste, said: "While it is true that sweet things activate reward circuits in the brain, the problem is that sweets and sugar are addictive, because the activation of these reward circuits causes opioid release, and with time more is needed to achieve the same effect.
"But the taste difference may be explained by differences like parental control over sweet consumption."Likelihood of being true:
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