According to a new research people who consume more sugary foods may have a specific genetic variation.
Boffins Ahmed El-Sohemy, Karen M. Eny, Thomas M.S. Wolever and Benedicte Fontaine-Bisson, all of the Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, have found that a variation in the GLUT2 gene - a gene that controls sugar entry into the cells - may be behind an individual's preferences for foods high in sugar.
Dr. El-Sohemy, the study's senior researcher said: "We have found that a variation in the GLUT2 gene is associated with a higher intake of sugars among different populations."
"These findings may help explain some of the individual variations in people's preference for sugary foods. It's especially important given the soaring rates of obesity and diabetes throughout much of the world," he added.
As a part of their study, the researchers tested the effects of the genetic variation in two distinct populations.
One population consisted of older adults who were all either overweight or obese. The other population consisted of generally healthy young adults who were mostly lean.
The researchers kept a record of all the foods and beverages that the first group consumed over a three day period. This 3-day food record was repeated two weeks.
Then, the volunteers were interviewed face-to-face during the two visits to the research centers.
In the second group, the study participants used a questionnaire that asked about the foods and beverages typically consumed during a one month period.
Blood was drawn from each participant, and their DNA extracted.
On examining the genotype distribution, the researchers found that those people who carried the variation in GLUT2 were associated with consuming more sugars.
This was true for participants from both groups.
The study appears in the online edition of Physiological Genomics.