I was absolutely ecstatic when I stumbled across the documentary, That Sugar Film, which perfectly visually describes everything I wrote in my book, Eating Myself Crazy, about sugar and the havoc it wreaks on us physiologically and psychologically. For those who prefer learning from a screen rather than a book this is for you! Australian filmmaker, Damon Gameau, who obviously was influenced by the Super Size Me documentary, uses the same concept except with sugar. Gameau who has lived basically sugar-free for the past few years, decided to go back to it for 60 days and see what happens. Although the audience expects the outcomes are not good, it is still compelling to see the drastic transformation in just a month. Monitored by a team of experts during his self-abuse, his physician became concerned with him continuing his experiment after a 3-week physical exam. What is most eye-opening about his new sugar-laden diet is that Gameau does not eat junk food, candy or even drink pop but follows a diet that the average Australian considers healthy. He eats 40 teaspoons of sugar a day that are hidden in everyday foods. That number seems high but watching this film you will see how easily anyone can do it and probably does.
Gameau also demonstrates how hidden sugars in the food products that dominate the grocery shelves affect our mental and physical well-being. What people don’t take into account when it comes to feeling crappy all the time is how often we flood our liver with sugar. What I liked most about the documentary is how sugar affects our cognitive functioning and moods. This is one of the strongest messages that I hoped to get out with Eating Myself Crazy: too much sugar disrupts clear thinking and destabilizes moods. We as parents want to arm our children with good food in order to help our kids take in a full-day of learning. Processed sugar and sugary drinks does the exact opposite of that goal. Gameau begins Day One with a breakfast most kids start their day with and it already hit the daily average intake that the World Health Organization recommends.
This is a documentary the whole family can watch. It is visually stimulating with some cartoon-like demonstrations that keep the viewer’s attention and grasp the understanding of what sugar overload really looks like (and it’s not cotton candy and slushies). The most shocking part about this film is that Gameau ate the SAME amount of calories as he did on his sugar-free diet, directly addressing the fact that a calorie is NOT a calorie. He also continued the same regime of physical activity and still gained weight and inches around his waistline proving that sugar turns into fat.
I encourage you to see this documentary and revisit the idea of whether what you truly are consuming is healthy for you and your family. My husband, who has heard my rant for years about sugar, is now on the bandwagon after seeing this film. He is a visual learner.