Those of us who are health minded have known for a few years that sugar is the new fat. With That Sugar Film Damon Gameau has created a documentary that is both fun and extremely eye opening and it might be the document that gets people to reconsider sugar or the argument that fatties “just need to stop eating” (you do to some extent though).
That Sugar Film follows the formula of Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me (pigging out on McDonalds to gain weight), except here is where Damon Gameau hits hardest: he does it by eating regular supposedly healthy food. Yes healthy food that is pretty much your typical Australian diet. No cakes, no biscuits, no fizzy, no lollies, no ice-cream, no donuts, pretty much nothing fun.
Damon and his pregnant girlfriend are super healthy and his doctors call him crazy for embarking upon this experiment. His doctors monitor his weight, waistline, and he gets blood tests to monitor the effects on his body. He is headed towards type 2 diabetes by the end of the experiment and has a fatty liver, not to mention the weight gain and waistline increase. To give you an idea of what he is eating he is consuming 40 teaspoons of sugar a day and that is typical of the average Australian diet. Yet he is not consuming any more calories than he did with his previous high-fat diet.
This film should be mandatory viewing in NZ. We have a chief executive of the Food and Grocery Council who is also a member of the board of the Health Promotion Agency and she tells us it’s all about moderation but as Damon proves by making health sacrifices to his body that sugar really is incredibly bad for us in the levels that we are getting it. Think a fruit flavoured yoghurt is healthy? Sure it’s low fat but there’s usually at least 4-5 teaspoons in it. What about your favourite pasta sauce? I stopped buying them years ago, full of sugar! It’s easy to throw a canned of tinned tomatoes and herbs together (so it has less sugar) but people pay for convenience and our interests should be looked after by regulations and not big business. We should not have to navigate star rating systems, nutritional panels or have to learn 60 different names for sugar to ensure we are not getting too much of it in products that sugar really has no place being in.
The use of celebrities (Hugh Jackman, Stephen Fry) and funny songs makes it light viewing while at the same time it is hard-hitting especially when Damon goes to Aboriginal villages and sees the damage sugar has done to their communities. So for those of you who take things a bit more seriously, Damon has also released That Sugar Book. While some think this slick “candy-cuteness” (or candy porn) might cheapen the film I think it makes it family friendly and more likely that people will check it out. The information isn’t new, it’s out there but it hasn’t been presented as slickly as this.
An absolute must see for everyone of all ages.
Madman’s release of That Sugar Film comes loaded with extra sweetness in the form of extras.
- Damon Answers Your FAQS
- Audio Commentary
- Stephen Fry’s Sugar Story
- “That Sugar Song” Karaoke
- Behind the Scenes
- Deleted Scenes
- Featurette on Advertising, Moods, the Brain, Appetite Control, Lowering Your Sugar Intake and more!