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My teachers in school always said that sugar tastes good because in the days of cavemen, things like berries, with lots of sugar, were rare, and it would be good to want to get the energy from them and thus humans evolved to like sugar. This BBC article also says something similar (emphasis mine):

Many scientists believe a child's preference for sweet things is an evolutionary hangover, as youngsters who preferred high-calorie foods in times gone by would have had a better chance of survival when food sources were unreliable.

This all makes sense to me. However, sometimes I eat something and it tastes too sweet. Why is this possible? It seems inconsistent with the way people evolved.

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  • $\begingroup$ You seem to have a very panselectionist view of evolution. One could similarly ask "Why do we like coffee who is bitter?" or "Why do we like lemon who is sour?" or even "Why do we not like drinking vegetable oil from the bottle?" $\endgroup$ – Remi.b May 19 at 5:05
  • $\begingroup$ First, how old are you? Certainly tastes change between childhood and adulthood: consider the way many kids prefer sugar-frosted breakfast cereals. It could also reflect caloric needs: for instance, in boot camp I would do things like mixing half a dozen spoonfulls of sugar in a glass of milk before drinking it. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf May 19 at 6:24

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