A leading childhood nutrition researcher and an experienced public health educator explain the hidden danger sugar poses to a child's development and health and offer parents an essential 7- and 28-day "sugarproof" program.
Most of us know that sugar can wreak havoc on adult bodies, but few realize how uniquely harmful it is to the growing livers, hearts, and brains of children. And the damage can begin early in life. In his research on the effects of sugar on kids' present and future health, USC Professor of Pediatrics and Program Director for Diabetes and Obesity at Children's Hospital Los Angeles Michael Goran has found that too much sugar doesn't just cause childhood obesity, it can cause health issues in kids who are not overweight too, including fatty liver disease, prediabetes, and elevated risk for eventual heart disease. And, it is a likely culprit in the behavioral, emotional, and learning problems that many children struggle with every day.
In a groundbreaking study, Goran's team conducted a detailed analysis of the sugary products that kids love and found that these yogurts, cereals, sodas, and juices often had more sugar than advertised and also contained different types of sugar than were being disclosed. Today's children are not just consuming more sugar than ever, but they are consuming sugars that are particularly harmful to them--and their parents don't even know it.
The news is dire, but there is also plenty of hope. We can prevent, address, and even in many cases reverse the effects of too much sugar. In this guide to "Sugarproof" kids, Dr. Goran and co-author Dr. Emily Ventura, an expert in nutrition education and recipe development, bust myths about the various types of sugars and sweeteners, help families identify sneaky sources of sugar in their diets, and suggest realistic, family-based solutions to reduce sugar consumption and therefore protect kids. Their unique "Sugarproof" approach teaches parents to raise informed and empowered kids who can set their own healthy limits without feeling restricted. With a 7- and 28-day challenge to help families right-size sugar in their diets, along with more than 35 recipes all without added sugars, everyone can give their children a healthy new start to life.
About the Author
Michael I. Goran, PhD, is one of the world's most widely recognized experts in childhood nutrition and obesity research, with more than 30 years of experience as a researcher, mentor, and educator. He is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Co-Director of the USC Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute and leads the Program in Diabetes and Obesity at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. He holds the Dr. Robert C and Veronica Atkins Endowed Chair in Childhood Obesity and Diabetes. Michael is a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Manchester, UK. Emily E. Ventura, PhD, MPH, is an experienced nutrition educator, public health advocate, writer, and cook. She completed her Master's in Public Health and PhD in Health Behavior Research at the University of Southern California. She was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to teach Public Health Nutrition in Italy and is a mother to two young boys.
"Learn from one of the world’s leading experts on sugar and its impact on children from womb to tomb. This book blew my mind and underscores the importance for all of us to reduce sugar and starch intake to protect not only ourselves but our future generations." –Mark Hyman, MD, Head of Strategy and Innovation: Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Food Fix: How to Save Our Health, Our Economy, Our Communities and Our Planet – One Bite at a Time
“Sugarproof really helps you to be smart and conscientious about sugar while also providing grace for some of the joys of being a kid” and/or “I was shocked when I was reading this. I thought I was fairly knowledgable on nutrition and what I was putting into my kids’ bodies. Really and truly, I cannot reccommend this book enough. It’s just a wealth of knowledge and a must-read for parents” Nikki DeLoach - Actress and media Spokesperson
“Sugarproof is a game-changer. All parents need to read this book. Frankly, I think everyone should read this book because you need to understand the science of sugar and how we can get it out of our food supply. I think it’s going to change a lot of lives and it’s going to help a lot of kids and families” Will Bulsiewicz, MD MSCI, New York Times bestselling author of Fiber Fueled
“This is a really important topic. What we’re feeding our children will affect not only how they feel, how they learn, and how they behave today, but also it affects their future, and it’s our job as parents to really look out for them and try to reduce sugar. Sugarproof gives us the tools to do that.” Kelly Leveque; Holistic Nutritionist, Health Coach and author of “Body Love Every Day” series "How and what we feed our children is of the utmost importance. In this digestible book, Emily and Michael deftly illuminate the nature of sugar in our world today, and what role it should play in a child’s diet — it is essential reading for parents, educators, and eaters alike." —Alice Waters, chef, author, and Founder of the Edible Schoolyard
“Every year obesity and diabetes rates hit new highs in America. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is now epidemic in America (and around the world), and the sugars we consume are the most likely cause of all of these. These sugars are hidden in virtually every processed food and constitute far and away our major dietary addiction. Even those of us who try to restrict our sugar consumption can be easily fooled by the sugars hidden in the foods we buy every day at the supermarkets. Families desperately need a guide like Sugarproof to help identify these hidden sugars in their diet and provide a thoughtful and workable guide on how to cut back to a reasonable and safe level.” —Gary Taubes, author of The Case Against Sugar
“There is a huge gap in the practical issues that must be faced to tackle the added sugar epidemic in our country. Michael Goran is a leader laying out practical and meaningful strategies for parents and families that want to learn about the presence of sugar in our diets, the health effects, and clear guidelines on ways to reduce sugar intake.” —Barry Popkin, Ph.D., W. R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina; author of The World Is Fat
“Dr. Michael Goran is a thought leader in the field of childhood nutrition. As a researcher and a parent, I can attest to the need for his new book Sugarproof. We are facing a silent crisis of obesity among our youth, and it is often the case that parents don't realize the damage that poor nutrition has inflicted on their child until it is too late. With our overly sugared food supply, parents need the resources and knowledge to help their children get on the right track to better health. Dr. Goran gives them that in Sugarproof." —Nicole Avena, Ph.D., author of What to Feed Your Baby and Toddler
“This book will help parents, teachers, and nutrition educators identify ways that they can help create the change we need to see in our food, food products, marketing, and communities to put a serious dent in the public health crisis that childhood obesity represents today and in the future. I am thrilled to see this work and believe strongly that it will be a game changer to move us in a different direction--from information to action.” —Ashley Koff, RD, award-winning nutrition expert and CEO, The Better Nutrition Program
“There are many health advocates pointing out the dangers of sugar use by infants and children. But none of this advocacy has been as practical and courageous as that of Michael I. Goran, Ph.D. By analyzing the types and amounts of sugar actually present in the foods that our children are exposed to, he has provided us with shocking and invaluable insight. Dr. Goran’s Sugarproof translates his study findings into concrete suggestions for the protective action that today’s parents, teachers, and health professionals desperately need. I look forward to making this book required reading in all of my trainings and to promoting it in whatever other ways I can.” —Julia Ross, author of The Diet Cure, The Mood Cure, and The Craving Cure
"Dr. Michael Goran trained as a biochemist and started out his research journey as a human physiologist. But as he realized the primacy of diet in chronic disease, he has morphed into a pediatric nutrition research powerhouse. He has helped elucidate how dietary sugar can be uniquely problematic even for babies, and how it can derail the process of healthy growth and development. His work has provided insightful understandings on how to translate research findings into effective ways for reducing sugar consumption in childhood." —RobertLustig, MD, MSL, Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics, UCSF, and author of Fat Chance and The Hacking of the American Mind