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:
What are the other kooky suggestions of doctors and scientists? Take a look at some of the most outlandish (from burgers causing Gulf War Syndrome to dogs giving women breast cancer) viewpoints - some are so crazy, they may just be true!
22,000 people agreed to clean toilets for WiFi because they did not read the terms.
Tools designed to ensure computer code in smart cars does not crash has been inspired by hungry penguins.
The rounded sleeping capsules send guests drifting into ocean before arriving on desert island by morning.
Sitting on the saddle activates the part of the brain responsible for learning, a study has claimed.
Scientists are appealing for more people to donate their brains for research after they die.
Life on Earth may have arrived from Mars on an asteroid, scientists have claimed.
Lunar mission scheduled at the end of 2017 could find out if beer can be brewed on the moon.
A bottle used to teach children how far litter can travel ended up on Scottish beach after 8,700-mile journey.