Firstly, I want to say this is not a health blog. I don’t preach health advice because I’m not a health professional and I don’t feel like I have any business writing about health. I write about food because I enjoy cooking and eating food. However, this is a film review about a health documentary.
For those who are doing JunkFreeJune, this film may be the push you need to get through the second half of the month.
Australian director/film maker/writer Damon Gameau does not eat sugar. His diet of healthy fats, proteins, fruits and vegetables is one that we could probably all aspire to. To try and prove a point and to make a documentary, he embarks on a 60 day “average sugar diet” while eating “healthy food” to see the changes to his body and mind.
Watch the official trailer here:
The average Australian (man, woman or child) consumes 40 teaspoons of sugar a day, which is mostly hidden in processed foods. I found it really interesting is that Damon didn’t eat any junk food during the 60 days. He didn’t need to. The sugar laden food he ate is what the industry considers “health food” like juice, low fat yogurt and cereals.
Communities and sugar
Damon visits an indigenous community, Mai Wiru in South Australia, where alcohol and Coca Cola have been banned by the people living there. Here we see the touching story of what they want for their own community and how their government has failed them.
Damon also visits Kentucky, US where Moutain Dew is bottle fed to infants, where locals drink a 12 pack of Mountain Dew a day, every day. The results are heartbreaking, though frustratingly, the attitude towards the drink remains unchanged.
That Sugar Film was unexpectedly funny and there are some hilarious edits. A few showy gimmicks and cinematic tricks I found distracting, but they were amusing all the same. Look out for cameos from Hugh Jackman (uncredited), Stephen Fry and Isabel Lucas.
That Sugar Film is showing in over 20 New Zealand towns and cities and all over Australia. If you eat food and have any concerns about diet, you should see this film. If you’ve already seen the film, please let me know what you thought in the comments.
I left the cinema feeling a little overwhelmed and saddened by where the food industry is and where it is going. Then I went home and brushed my teeth.