Family History Of Alcoholism Linked To Love Of Sweets Among Women: "More than 250 million women worldwide smoke tobacco. Compared to men, women have a greater risk of smoking-related diseases, and also have more difficulty quitting. A new study, the first of its kind, has found that cigarette smoking and having a family history of alcoholism have different effects on sweet-taste perception and food cravings.
According to Kampov, the second finding -- that women with a family history of alcoholism preferred higher levels of sweetness and craved sweet-tasting foods more often -- is also noteworthy He said it confirms earlier reports that hedonic -- or pleasurable -- response to sweet taste is associated with a genetic risk for alcoholism.
"We may now use this knowledge to, one, identify individuals at high risk for alcoholism and two, study biological mechanisms involved in the development of alcohol-use disorders," said Kampov.
Mennella and Pepino recommended that future research on the effects of smoking on food habits and cravings should take into account family history of alcoholism, given its association with sweet liking and the increased likelihood of developing a tobacco-related disorder.
On a more practical level, Pepino warns that the negative effects of smoking are far-ranging. "The study suggests that cigarette smoking dulls sweet-taste detection and is associated with increased food cravings, especially for starchy carbohydrates and foods high in fat," she said. "We found that food cravings were associated with nicotine dependence ... the more intense the cravings for cigarettes, the more frequent the cravings for foods high in fat and carbohydrates.""