SUGARPROOF: The Hidden Dangers of Sugar

For the recently-released book, SUGARPROOF: The Hidden Dangers of Sugar That Are Putting Your Child’s Health at Risk and What You Can Do (Avery/Penguin Random House), Dr. Michael Goran, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, co-director of the USC Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute and expert in childhood nutrition, teams up with co-author Dr. Emily Ventura, an expert in nutrition education and recipe development. 

The book is particularly topical with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s recent changes to the Nutrition Facts label, listing hidden sugars, and the new USDA dietary guidelines now recommending infants age 0-2 consume zero added sugars. COVID-19 also adds urgency as high sugar diets weaken the immune system, increasing susceptibility to viral infections.

Sugarproof guides readers through the modern-day  “Sugar Storm,” providing realistic family-based solutions. “Sugarproof” isn’t about quitting sugar entirely, it’s about becoming a smart consumer, identifying and replacing hidden sugars while reducing reliance on sweet foods and drinks as daily staples by transitioning from processed foods (70% of which contain added sugars) to a more whole foods-based diet. Sugarproof also busts myths about the various types of sugars and sweeteners. 

In a groundbreaking study, Dr. Michael Goran and his team conducted a detailed analysis of the sugary products that kids love and how they impact everyday life. What they found was that many yogurts, cereals, sodas, and juices often had more sugar than advertised and contained different types of sugar than were being disclosed. The overabundance of sugar, and different types of sugar, can have a direct adverse effect on kids’ weight, chronic disease risk, behavior, and how well they do in school. High sugar intake has also been associated with longer term cognitive decline, including Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as well as contributing to increased lifelong risk of cancer.

In Sugarproof, Goran and Ventura explain how babies are born with a built-in preference for sweet flavors, which is supposed to be protective so that babies like breastmilk, seek out calories and avoid contaminated foods. However, this protective mechanism backfires in today’s high sugar environment, making their developing bodies particularly susceptible to the adverse effects of too much sugar. Food companies target this innate preference for sweetness through advances in food technology, delivering new types of artificial sugars and processed sweeteners like fruit juice concentrates, and then using aggressive marketing campaigns that target children by using their favorite sports heroes and celebrities.

We also learn that children don’t need to be overweight to have a sugar problem. In fact, even if well-meaning parents purchase organic options, their children could still have dangerously high levels of blood lipids or body fat wrapped around internal organs. 

Sugarproof encourages families to take on a life-changing 7-Day No Added Sugar Challenge. Learning how to sugar-proof your life is an empowering journey for the whole family designed to bring sugar consumption to a reasonable level.

The 7-Day No Added Sugar Challenge gives families that start with tools to reboot their diets, identify everyday sources of hidden sugars and find alternative replacements. The book also offers a 28-Day No Added Sugar Challenge for those seeking a more gradual plan. Goran and Ventura offer a reliable and straightforward theory-based approach, encouraging family-based solutions, including easy steps like engaging children in the shopping and cooking process, which will inspire kids to adopt healthier eating habits and the ability to self-regulate sugar. Sugarproof includes 39 food and beverage recipes that are easy, kid-friendly, flavorful, and flexible to account for different food preferences and needs within families.

For more information or to purchase a copy of the book, visit:

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  • All carbohydrates are processed as sugar or glucose by the body, so beware of the "solution" of whole grains and starchy vegetables for obesity and metabolic problems.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    Thanks for your comment Richard.

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