A review of That Sugar Film
I haven't had a chance to see That Sugar Film yet, but our resident blogger Courtenay did so I had her give us a run down on the key points. Have you seen it yet? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! - Larina
If you’re reading this, then it’s fair to assume that you’ve already heard of the I Quit Sugar movement. Sarah Wilson is probably a household name to you and David Gillespie’s book “Sweet Poison” might even ring a bell.
In the last few years, it seems that more and more people are quitting or reducing their intake of the sweet stuff and discovering that life is, well, sweeter without it. Blogs, books, online programs and now even feature length films have been created to educate the wider community on the detrimental facts of excess sugar consumption. It’s safe to say that sugar is becoming the new fat of the nutrition world. In other words, it’s earning itself a pretty bad name!
With such an abundance of information already available to us about sugar, I was skeptical of the impact that Damon Gameau’s film would have. If anything, it seemed a little bit late to the party.
Boy, was I wrong!
Of all the sugar-related articles, books, blogs and literature I have read concerning sugar, Gameau’s film was by far the most accessible, appealing, influential and fun! In fact, I think that was the point. It was easy to understand for those of us who do not possess much formal “nutritional literacy” and had me giggling in my seat from start to finish. Let’s just say that “laugh out loud” and “documentary” are not two words that I would normally combine in the same sentence.
Gameau’s intention was to highlight the staggering amount of sugar that exists in perceived “healthy” foods that we eat on the daily (I’m looking at you low-fat yoghurt!). He did so by eating these foods for two months, a diet that included upwards of 40 teaspoons of sugar per day. Damon did not eat any perceived “junk food” - and yet - still managed to develop signs of a fatty liver and experienced a huge decline in general wellbeing. Yep, that’s right. “Superfood” muesli bars and no-added-sugar fruit juice were on the menu. Lollies and chocolate were not.
While Damon’s rapidly declining health was one of the main concerns of the film, the cultural, economical and social impacts of excessive sugar consumption were equally as compelling. Damon’s adventure into a remote Aboriginal community showed the damage that processed, sugar-ladened foods had caused to an ancient and traditional way of life. The impact was astounding.
The leading man/human guinea pig was refreshingly down-to-earth in his approach to the sweet stuff. He did not point fingers (except at multinational food corporations) or tout any sort of restrictive diet, but instead encouraged his audience to be more mindful consumers. I think that’s something we can all take onboard.