"Unlike adults, who often find overly sugary things unpleasant"
what a pile of bs, ( in my experience) 99.9% of " adults" are also massive sugar junkies, and most of the time they don't even know it.
My first reaction was no duh!.. But I am of last generation....I will look to see what a 50-80 something has to say about this. In my day we were inundated with massive amounts of high sugar cereal for probably the first time in human history (at least to this extent). The thesis on what children before this use to "crave" is an interesting one. I'm going to get laid...instead of looking at this screen any further....says my wife :)
Makes sense to me. The brain is developing and is more sensitive to all stimuli since it hasn't pruned all the excess neurons yet. This is why developing good habits at an early age is crucial to the ability to form and keep good habits later in life. I would also guess it has something to do with kids being more sensitive to leptin and insulin (compared to adults and assuming they aren't already IR and LR) and can therefore handle larger amounts before the body sends the signal to the brain that they've had enough. The most likely explanation though is that as they mature and their bones stop growing, leptin levels increase since leptin inhibits bone growth. This also means younger kids need lower leptin levels to let bones grow, and since appetite and bone growth are linked by the leptin-serotonin pathway, they'll have a bigger appetite. As this study shows, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090903163552.htm leptin suppresses appetite by blocking synthesis of serotonin in the brain. This makes sense evolutionarily since increasing bone growth and appetite at the same time means you're getting more raw materials and fuel needed for bone growth and will allow kids with those genes to grow faster and thus have an advantage. The problem is excess sugar is destabilizing to the brain and I don't think it's a coincidence that there's both a higher percentage of kids with adhd and more high sugar foods in the diets of most kids these days . . . http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16750194.
I was an adult massive sugar junkie, like loilo says, but being off sugar has massively changed that. Yesterday I bought a coconut (the need for hot cooking oil means I'll never be totally free of botanicals, I guess - so I broke down and bought a botanical). I drank the juice, described in the cookbooks as having just a hint of sweetness. But to me, it was knock-yer-socks-off sweet.
I would have spat out anything sweeter. Seriously.
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