One man's journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as 'healthy'. Through this entertaining and informative journey, Damon highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry, and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves.Written by
One of the inspirations for the film happened 10 years earlier when Australian Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil invited Damon Gameau, his co-star from The Tracker (2002), to visit him in his native land, the Arnhem area of Australia's Northern Territory. Gameau was immediately struck by how much Western culture and food had been assimilated into the Aboriginal lands. Seeing mothers feed their babies Coca-Cola through their baby bottles disturbed him greatly. See more »
Genuinely shocking and enlightening health documentary
In this documentary, film-maker Damon Gameau becomes his own guinea pig and spends 60 days eating healthy foods with added sugar. Before this process, he had eradicated sugar from his diet so the contrast is even more pronounced. Over the course of the 60 days he puts on considerable weight, experiences mood swings and notices a drop in overall motivation.
What I found so alarming about this film was that it didn't play things easy and simply expose the dangers of excessive sugar intake. Gameau doesn't consume any junk food whatsoever, such as fizzy juice, sweets or ice cream, he instead purely sticks to food marketed as healthy. It's this more than anything that sets off alarm bells because this route seems to most people a route to weight loss and improved physical well-being, yet as the film demonstrates it actually leads to obesity and mental damage. Time and again we are shown the volumes of sugar that is hidden in so-called 'healthy' foods and it makes you pause for thought. What comes out loud and clear is that sugar is clearly a socially acceptable form of addiction and the sugar industry have been instrumental in minimising public information on the dangers their product presents. It's very interesting to note that over the course of his 60 day experiment Gameau eats no more calories than he did previously, yet he puts on almost a stone in weight. One of the key lessons, therefore, is that there are calories and there are calories, i.e. sugar calories affect the body decidedly differently to the way protein and carb ones do.
The approach taken by the film is very much of the fun and informative variety. Sometimes the humour doesn't work so well but in the main this approach is good in that it is very accessible. After all, this is a film that you would want children to watch and learn from. There are a couple of star cameos with Hugh Jackman giving us a brief history lesson about man's relationship with sugar and Stephen Fry pops up to explain some of the science behind it. On the whole, I found this to be an excellent wake-up call about a subject I had hitherto given minimal thought to. There is a lot of very valuable information in this film that could be genuinely life changing if applied to your day to day life, and I reckon that is as good a recommendation as anyone could need.
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