How the tastiest of treats—sugar—may be wreaking havoc on children’s growth and development, as early as in the womb.

There’s a simple reason why kids love sugar so much, says Michael Goran, PhD. They were literally born that way.

“It’s protective,” he explains. “It was designed to encourage consumption of breast milk, which is sweet, and prevent the eating of poisonous berries from the forest floor.”

Today, though, that evolutionary advantage has been turned upside down. Most children don’t frequent forests, let alone crawl around in one. Instead of bitter berries, the threat to their health is deceptively sweet: sugar.

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