Children and Chocolates: Why Some Kids Can't Resist Well Like Others

Dec 18, 2015 03:10 PM EST | By Pao Uychiat

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Chocolates are everyone's' sweet escape. Adults and children alike choose chocolate as their comfort food. However, there are some who don't have a "sweet tooth." Different people especially kids have certain genes that make them more sensitive to sweets and therefore making them eat less.

On the other hand, there are some who are less sensitive to the taste and would opt to eat more in order to taste it well. According to an article in Indian Express, a new study suggests that there are some kids eat more chocolate because they need more sugar than others.

A study made by the Monell Chemical Senses Centre said that the sensitivity to the sweet taste differs among children and they are pointing to genetics as part of the reason. Danielle Reed from Monell Centre said, "Some children are 20 times better at detecting sugar than others. As sugar becomes more restricted and even regulated in children's diets, the less sugar-sensitive children may get less of a 'sweet signal' - and, therefore, have a harder time dealing with sugar reduction."  

The team of researchers ask around 216 children between the ages of 7 to 14 years old. They were able to determine the sweetness level and determined it to be the lowest detectable level of sucrose. To test the theory, they gave each child two cups, one with water and the other with sugar solution.

little girl enjoying chocolates
(Photo : Getty Images)

They were then asked to identify which of the two cups had a particular taste. This process was repeated using different sugar concentrations. In order to check and verify the genetic influences on sweet taste perception, 168 kids' DNA were analyzed to identify variation in two sweet genes. This is known to be related to sweet sensitivity in adults which is the TAS1R3 G-coupled protein sweet receptor gene and the GNAT3 sweet receptor signaling gene.

In addition, a separate study identified variation in the TAS2R38 bitter receptor gene. This gene is known to be related to individual differences in sweet preferences among kids. They found that kids who are more sensitive to bitter taste are also sensitive to sweet taste. Reed added that they were surprised that the sensitivity to sweet taste and sugar consumption was related to the bitter genes.

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