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Why do we like sugar so much?

2 answers
Answered Mar 20Science
Hassan's profile picture
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Hassan AhmadA savvy physicist, perfect for slow learners!187 students helped

Dopamine! The more we have sugar, the greater the amount of dopamine released in our brain. Dopamine is responsible for positive emotions, and once triggered by something, the human body wants it more. So if a person likes sugar, his brain releases dopamine which causes him to feel good. Hence, the person craves more sugar.

Answered Nov 18Science
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Suzanne Davison-AllottQualified lecturer with over 10 years’ experience at secondary, FE and HE levels

There are a number of strands you could consider when you answer this question, and so narrowing down what you want to focus on will help you to plan. The brain needs sugar to function, so one of the most basic answers is that we have evolved to crave sugar in order to keep our brains functioning at full capacity. In our evolutionary past, sugar would not always have been easy to come across, so it would make sense for us to seek it out. Now, however, we can get sugar whenever we want it, but our brains don’t know that so at a basic biological level they’re still asking us to seek it out. You could also look at this from a point of addiction. There are a range of neurotransmitters which are affected by sugar, and these in term can affect our mood. There are also psychological addictions, and these may impact on our mood and concentration etc. The problem we have is that we don’t have an in-built balance system to help us to stop consuming sugar once we’ve reached an optimum threshold. This puts us at risk of diabetes, obesity, and a range of other health conditions. Of course, there’s always the fact that it tastes nice!