Sugarproof Science

Here we provide the details and links to the research studies cited in the book organized by Chapter. For each citation, the text in bold refers to the relevant text from the Chapter


1. Kids have a stronger built-in preference for sweet flavors compared to adults

Ventura, AK and Mennella, JA. “Innate and learned preferences for sweet taste during childhood”. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 2011. 14(4): p. 379-384.

2. They are more attracted to both real sugar and low-calorie sweeteners

Bobowski, N and Mennella, JA. “Personal Variation in Preference for Sweetness: Effects of Age and Obesity”. Child Obes, 2017. 13(5): p. 369-376.

3. During the American colonial period, the amount of sugar consumed by the average person in 1750 was just 4 pounds per year, which is just over 1 teaspoon per day

Bray, GA. “Energy and fructose from beverages sweetened with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup pose a health risk for some people”. Adv Nutr, 2013. 4(2): p. 220-5.

4. Over the last century, daily fructose intake in the U. S. increased from just 12 grams per day to about 75 grams per day

Marriott, BP, Cole, N, and Lee, E. “National estimates of dietary fructose intake increased from 1977 to 2004 in the United States”. J Nutr, 2009. 139(6): p. 1228S-1235S.

5. At the start of this millennium, fewer than 10 percent of American children were consuming LCS in any form on any given day. A decade later, this number had increased to one in four:

Sylvetsky, AC, Jin, Y, Clark, EJ, Welsh, JA, Rother, KI, and Talegawkar, SA. “Consumption of Low-Calorie Sweeteners among Children and Adults in the United States”. J Acad Nutr Diet, 2017. 117(3): p. 441-448 e2.

6. Kids today, especially young children, are consuming more sugar in liquid form than ever before

Duffey, KJ and Popkin, BM. “Shifts in patterns and consumption of beverages between 1965 and 2002”. Obesity (Silver Spring), 2007. 15(11): p. 2739-47.

7. A 2010 study of American toddlers ages twelve to twenty-four months found that added sugar contributed 8.4 percent of their total daily calories; this sugar came mostly from juices and flavored drinks

Welsh, JA and Figueroa, J. “Intake of Added Sugars During the Early Toddler Period”. Nutrition Today, 2017. 52(Supplement): p. S60-S68.

8. More than half the toddlers drank fruit juice as their only beverage on any given day

Moshfegh, AJ, Rhodes, DG, Goldman, JD, and Clemens, JC. “Characterizing the Dietary Landscape of Children, 12 to 35 Months Old”. Nutrition Today, 2017. 52(Supplement): p. S52-S59.

9. The generational rise in juice consumption and its potential impact on health was alarming enough for the American Academy of Pediatrics to recommend limits for fruit juice consumption in 2017

Heyman, MB and Abrams, SA. “Fruit Juice in Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Current Recommendations”. Pediatrics, 2017. 139(6).

10. In September 2019, these recommendations were updated in a joint consensus statement released by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Heart Association

“Consensus Statement. Healthy Beverage Consumption in Early Childhood: Recommendations from National Health and Nutrition Organizations”.

11. A recent analysis of 240 of the most popular baby and toddler foods in the United States showed that 100 percent of baby food desserts, 92 percent of fruit snacks, 86 percent of cereal bars, and 57 percent of teething biscuits and cookies contained more than 20 percent of their calories from sugar

Elliott, CD and Conlon, MJ. “Packaged baby and toddler foods: questions of sugar and sodium”. Pediatr Obes, 2015. 10(2): p. 149-55.

12. A recent report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity found that in 2017, 86 percent of television advertising on programs targeted to African Americans and 82 percent of ads on programs targeted to Hispanics were focused on junk food, sugary drinks, or other high-sugar snacks and candy

Harris, JL, Frazier, W, Kumanyika, S, and Ramirez, AG, “Increasing Disparities in Unhealthy Food Advertising Targeted to Hispanic and Black Youth”. 2019, Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity.

13. If a pregnant mother consumes excessive sugar or sweetness in any form, it can reach the unborn baby, who will then develop an even greater than usual preference for more sweetness

Bayol, SA, Farrington, SJ, and Stickland, NC. “A maternal ‘junk food’ diet in pregnancy and lactation promotes an exacerbated taste for ‘junk food’ and a greater propensity for obesity in rat offspring”. Br J Nutr, 2007. 98(4): p. 843-51.

14. Sugars or sweeteners consumed by a breastfeeding mother can be transmitted to the baby through breast milk; and; Studies from my research team were the first to document that fructose from a mother’s diet can be transmitted to her baby via breast milk

Berger, PK, Fields, DA, Demerath, EW, Fujiwara, H, and Goran, MI. “High-Fructose Corn-Syrup-Sweetened Beverage Intake Increases 5-Hour Breast Milk Fructose Concentrations in Lactating Women”. Nutrients, 2018. 10(6).

15. Exposure to fructose makes it more likely that developing cells will become fat cells

Du, L and Heaney, AP. “Regulation of Adipose Differentiation by Fructose and GluT5”. Mol Endocrinol, 2012.