Kids love sweets. Of course, so do many adults. But even those grown-ups with a serious sweet tooth would likely struggle to polish off a big bag of candy, while the average kid would relish that chore. “Even during infancy, newborns have an innate preference for breast milk because of its sweetness,” says Juliana Cohen, an assistant professor of nutrition at Merrimack College in Northern Massachusetts and the Harvard School of Public Health.
Cohen says the prevailing theory is that a taste for sugary foods offered early humans an evolutionary advantage: In nature, sweet foods—stuff like fruits or honey—tend to be both safe and rich in calories, while bitter foods are more likely to be toxic. So humans may be born with an inherent desire for sugary foods that fades with age and eating experience.
Excerpted from Time