Remember the 2004 documentary film Super Size Me? If not, here’s a quick summary: The filmmaker ate only McDonald’s food for a month, gained 24½ pounds and experienced, among other things, fat accumulation in his liver.
If you ask me, that outcome should have been obvious to anyone from the outset. What ELSE is going to happen if you eat nothing but McDonald’s for a month? I’m surprised he even lived. (Plus, it took him 14 months to lose the weight gained from the experiment.) Still, it was an important movie.
And now there’s a similar film on the horizon. One I find even more impactful than Super Size Me.
It’s called That Sugar Film, and it opened earlier this month in New Zealand. The documentary was created by Australian filmmaker Damon Gameau, and chronicles what happened to him when he spent 60 days eating about 40 teaspoons of sugar a day.
He chose that amount based on the statistic that the average New Zealander eats 54 kilograms (about 119 lbs) of sugar per year. That works out to, you guessed it, around 40 teaspoons a day. (Which, for the record, is on par with what most people consume here in the U.S.)
And, guess what? Gameau got fatty liver disease—within just18 days. And by the end of his experiment he’d gained about 17.5 pounds.
His film is a living testament to the fact that the world’s obesity and diabetes epidemic is caused by the overconsumption of sugar. Give this guy a golden statue!
But here’s what makes That Sugar Film so powerful, in my book. Gameau wasn’t binge eating on chocolate bars, ice cream, and donuts to get his daily sugar fix. In fact, he purposely chose foods people tend to think of as healthy. (And ones that are certainly marketed that way.) He focused his diet on things like low-fat yogurt, muesli (granola) bars, cereals, sports drinks, vitamin waters, etc.
Unfortunately, That Sugar Film hasn’t been released internationally yet. When and if it is, I’ll be sure to let you know.
In the meantime, if you’ve been reading my Reality Health Check for a while, you already know that the kinds of foods featured in this film are almost, if not just, as bad as sugary sodas and cotton candy. I’ve written before about how yogurt is typically a sugar trap. [link to: ] And cereal is full of carbs, which convert into sugar. And I’ve also talked about how vitamin waters, sports drinks and other “health beverages” are basically liquid sugar cubes in sheep’s clothing.
But it’s worth a reminder to be careful when it comes to all the supposedly healthy stuff lining supermarket shelves. Review my past article, “Hunting down those hidden sugar bombs” for a reminder on the insidious sources of sugar that can chip away at your health. Avoid those in addition to all the obvious sources of sugar, and you’ll be well on your way to feeling great.