After hearing a lot about ‘That Sugar Film’ over the past few weeks, I finally decided to go check it out on Easter Monday and see what all the watercooler chat was about. And after a few weeks of being in a bit of a diabetes slump, it was just the motivation that I needed.
Aussie man Damon Gameau is a healthy young male with a diet consisting of mostly fresh produce and no sugar. He embarks on a diet of seemingly healthy, low fat foods for 60 days in order to expose the effects of the hidden sugars in these foods. Think yoghurt, breakfast cereals, juices, flavoured milks, muesli bars and lots of other processed products. Its a format that reminds me of the ‘Super Size Me’ documentary several years ago.
Without giving the ending away, the results are shocking. Damon’s health deteriorates significantly, both physically and mentally. Basically, he was eating foods that were stripped of their healthy fats and proteins (that help you to feel full and maintain energy) and replaced with sugar. His calorie intake before and during the experiment was exactly the same, and he didn’t even touch any takeaway, fizzy drinks, lollies, chocolate or ice cream. Of course, I did have a few areas of doubt…
- Damon was an extremely healthy guy, therefore the impact of his experiment would likely be greater as opposed to someone on a more average diet.
- He seemed to eat home cooked meals 3 times per day (pre experiment), which is impractical for the busy or working person.
- Damon seemed to ignore carbs like pasta, rice and low GI breads in his normal diet, which are an essential source of energy and assist diabetics to maintain stable blood sugars.
- Cereals were presented negatively for their higher sugar content, despite being a good source of Iron, Protein and several other nutritional benefits.
Since I’ve had diabetes, I’ve always prioritised the fat content and glycemic index rating on products without really considering sugar. While I think its unrealistic to cut out sugar and processed foods completely, this film was a real eye opener. After a weekend of Easter binge eating, That Sugar Film has motivated me to cut back on sugar for the sake of my diabetes management and long term health. I also liked the health benefits there were to gain, including more energy, less lethargy, healthier skin and reduced sugar cravings – all without any exercise.
Today I resisted hot cross buns and easter chocolate on the staff room table at work, and I went easy on the leftover desert in the fridge at home. The box of biscuits in my desk drawer will be going once they’re finished, and I will be swapping muesli bars for fresh fruit and nuts. And when I begin to falter again, I will remind myself of this film.
That Sugar Film has plenty of intrigue, investigation, eye openers, humour and cringeworthy moments to easily sustain a feature length presentation. It’s had a huge impact on me, so I can only imagine the impact this film will have if it makes its way around the world.
That Sugar Film is currently screening in selected cinemas around Australia and New Zealand. You can watch the trailer below, or visit www.thatsugarfilm.com to find out more.