I’d been looking forward to That Sugar Film for some time. Having followed Damon’s excellent daily blog during filming I couldn’t wait to see the results.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a quick overview – actor Damon Gameau went from being a non-refined sugar eater to consuming what many Australian’s eat every day, 40 teaspoons of sugar a day (!) for 60 days. Yep you read that right, 40 teaspoons a day. Not that hard with a couple of cakes, some ice cream and sodas BUT the twist was he would consume this amount eating perceived ‘healthy’ foods such as cereals, yoghurts, juices, smoothies and sauces so no cakes, biscuits, ice cream or sodas allowed.
That Sugar Film follows Damon over 60 days looking at what his high sugar diet is doing to his physical (and mental) health along with Damon meeting a range of health and industry experts to discuss sugar plus an insight into sugar’s history and its impact on particular communities (note: Mountain Dew Mouth is a shameful sight on kids).
I LOVED the film but that’s an easy thing to say since I’ve already quit sugar and are a keen follow of authors such as David Gillespie and Gary Taubes who both appear as experts. I also knew a lot of what it told me about refined sugar and fructose in particular.
So taking off my Sugar Breakup hat, here’s some of what I believe That Sugar Film does really well, particularly for those who don’t know a lot about sugar:
- It’s easy to see how you can consume large amounts of sugar without realising. There was an audible gasp in the cinema when Damon consumed his first breakfast of a cereal, low fat yoghurt and a glass of apple juice. Not an outrageous breakfast but it totalled 23 teaspoons of sugar! 5 years ago I would have considered it a healthy breakfast.
- It explains the science in simple language using great visuals. So often people’s eyes glaze over when you start talking science, That Sugar Film is able to tell the science in an entertaining way.
- How normalised sugar is in our lives. Seems strange to say now but smoking was also once normalised, advertised everywhere and supported by certain medical professionals. How did sugar stop being a rare/special food and become an everyday food?
- Damon is great. I don’t know him, we’ve never met but he’s really enjoyable to watch on screen. Damon does a great job talking to the experts, examining sugar in society but most of all it’s the obvious effects of the sugar on his health that makes That Sugar Film engaging.
- That Sugar Film is really accessible for kids. It’s easy to watch and understand and there will be a schools screening program later in the year. Find out the details here.
On a personal note, yes I know all the science but it was a very timely reminder for me. Recently I’ve noticed some “sneaky” sugars in my diet. Not at home but when eating out, I’ve been lazy ordering food and got caught out, usually by sauces or marinades. Also it is easy to get complacent when it comes to kids and sugar, they are just so surrounded by it.
So if you haven’t quit sugar and are wondering what all the fuss is about then go see That Sugar Film. And if you know what all the fuss is about then go see it as a reminder of why you do what you do (and you’re not crazy for being different from the norm!) That Sugar Film is travelling around Australia followed by New Zealand, Europe and America. Check out the details here: www.thatsugarfilm.com.