Humans have an innate preference for sweet taste, but the degree of liking for sweet foods varies individually. The proportion of inherited sweet taste preference was studied. A genome-wide linkage analysis was performed to locate the underlying genetic elements in the genome. A total of 146 subjects (32% men, 68% women) aged 18-78 y from 26 Finnish families evaluated the intensity and pleasantness of 3 suprathreshold solutions of sucrose (3.0%, 7.5%, and 18.75%) and plain water and the intensity of filter paper impregnated with 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP). The subjects also reported the pleasantness and the use frequency of 5 sweet foods (chocolate, candy, ice cream, sweet desserts, and sweet pastry) and completed a food-behavior questionnaire that measured their craving for sweet foods. Of the chemosensory functions, the pleasantness rating of the strongest (18.75%) sucrose solution and the intensity rating of PROP yielded the highest heritability estimates (41% and 66%, respectively). The pleasantness and the use frequency of sweet foods (both variables calculated as a mean of ratings for 5 food items) and the craving for sweet foods showed significant heritability (40%, 50%, and 31%, respectively). A logarithm of odds score of 3.5 (P=0.00003) was detected for use frequency of sweet foods on chromosome 16p11.2 (marker D16S753). Sweet taste preferences are partly inherited. Chromosome 16p11.2 may harbor genetic variations that affect the consumption of sweet foods.