A slice of cake may seem like an irresistible treat to some of us, while others can take it or leave it. But why is it we react so differently to the very same sugary snacks?
A new study says it's not just our taste buds — it's our genes.
The study, conducted by Monell and the QIMR Berghofer Research Institute, reveals that a genetic variant means that sweets simply seem sweeter to some.
"Eating too much sugar is often seen as a personal weakness," study author Danielle Reed said. "Just as people born with a poor sense of hearing may need to turn up the volume to hear the radio, people born with weak sweet taste may need an extra teaspoon of sugar in their coffee to get the same sweet punch."
The researchers tested 243 pairs of identical twins, 452 sets of fraternal twins and another 511 individuals before determining that genetic factors were responsible for an approximately 30 percent difference in perception of sweet tastes.
"Our findings indicate that shared experiences, such as family meals, had no detectable ability to make twins more similar in taste measures," Reed pointed out.
In other words, it's nature rather than nurture that's behind your sweet tooth — or lack thereof.