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As we get older, we tend to lose our sweet tooth and become more tolerant to bitter foods, like vegetables. However, I never understood how this works. Why is it that children prefer sweeter foods, even some that adults may consider "too sweet"? In fact, is there any reason they would also dislike bitter foods, even when they can be beneficial to their health?

This just seems bizarre to me that the body would start out craving sweets and lose this later on. Are only humans like this? Is there anything suggesting that younger animals prefer sweet foods too, but like them less as they get older? Does this have any biological advantage or is it just random?

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    $\begingroup$ Your body start out craving for milk and lose this later, it often lose ability to digest milk at all. Why this should be bizarre? Human body needs change in time. Young children require a lot of energy to grow and to learn. $\endgroup$ – Colombo Jan 27 '16 at 0:43
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@Colombo explains one reason that I think is obvious. However, there has been some research done on this.

One other reason is because it would provide an evolutionary advantage in environments where calories are scarce. Also, sugar actually acts like a pain reliever. Studies show that giving sugar to babies and children during surgery act like a pain reliever.

The sweet tooth could be controlled by hormones secreted from the growing bones. Some common hormones like insulin also affect sensory centers in the brain. This explains why the sweet tooth goes away as an adult.

Reference

NPR -http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2011/09/26/140753048/kids-sugar-cravings-might-be-biological

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  • $\begingroup$ other reason is because it would provide an evolutionary advantage in environments where calories are scarce. Should't then fat taste sweet? fat = 9 cal per gram, sugar = 4. $\endgroup$ – Matas Vaitkevicius Jun 6 '17 at 2:41

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