Science | Food

Here's How To Tell If You Really Were Born With A 'Sweet Tooth'

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Cobble Hill / NBC

We all crave a tasty dessert (or 2, or 3, or a dozen) once in a while, but some people insist they can't help themselves.

For most of us, having a "sweet tooth" is just an excuse to help ourselves to another piece of rainbow sprinkles donut pie, but science tells us that some people really are born with an inclination for sugary food. You can even find out if you're one of the lucky few with an excuse to act like a kid in a candy shop.

Here in America, 51% of people self-describe as having a "sweet tooth," but the actual number with a genetic urge for sweets is unclear. A recent study asked a large group of twins to sample a set of sugary drinks. The test was checking whether the twins shared a love of sweet food, which would prove our genes make the difference.

In the end, researchers only found that genes played a difference in our love of sweet foods about 30% of the time. So why do we feel compelled to eat candy all day, or to have chocolate cake for breakfast? Simply because we grew up eating sweet foods.

As you grow up eating sugary foods you get used to their sweet taste. Plus, you associate the taste of desserts like birthday cake with fond memories. But science still says that some of us are hard-wired to love sugar from birth.

So how can you tell people with real sweet tooths apart from the rest?

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