New Delhi: While around 5 percent of the country’s population is affected by morbid obesity, India is grappling against one of the worst obesity outbreaks. High-sugar diets are responsible for prolonged elevated blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, and leptin resistance — all of which lead to weight gain and excess body fat. 

India is following a trend of other developing countries that are steadily becoming more obese. Amidst this new culture, there’s a question that is raised frequently – Why do we crave sugar so much? The answer lies in an evolutionary instinct and your genes.  

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Yuval Noah Harari in his book ‘Sapiens’ has explained the genetical reason behind humans gorging on high-calorie content. He says, “A typical forager 30 thousand years ago had access to only one type of sweet food- ripe fruit. If a Stone Age woman came across a tree groaning with figs, the most sensible thing to do was to eat as many of them as she could on the spot, before a local baboon band picked the tree bare.”

The evolutionary instinct to crave for high-calorie content is embedded in our DNA’s. When we look at a sweet food, our genes stimulate this behavior and create an urge to stuff as much high calorie, sweet food as possible. This may be one of the reasons why you love so much Coke, ice-cream and pastries as well.

Another theory suggests that sweet food indicated the absence of toxic or poisonous substances in the food product. This made it easier to identify, segregate and survive for another day. 

So if you constantly crave for sweet or high-calorie food and have a ‘sweet tooth’, don’t worry, it is the gift of evolution.