That Sugar Film – a Kid Friendly Doco-movie

This week our family went to see, ‘That Sugar Film‘, and I have to tell you that it’s a doco-movie you must see. In fact, it’s a doco-movie you must see with your kids – and your partner!  Its absolutely 100% family friendly. Its informative and it will help curb your children’s sugar addictions!

We decided to take the kids to see ‘That Sugar Film‘, because one of the previews for the movie introduced viewers to 17 year old Larry, the boy who’s teeth were rotten from drinking Mountain Dew.  We don’t drink Mountain dew in our house, but I wanted the kids to associate soft drinks with Larry’s teeth.   Soft drinks are so easily obtained, and I want the kids to think of water when they are thirsty rather than grabbing a soft drink, particularly when they are at their friends places.

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The effects of sugar are linked to many health conditions, and the more I read about the link between sugar and health, the more I realise how important it is to minimise sugar in our diets.  Its not just about our teeth, its about our overall health. Its about looking after our organs – particularly our liver, kidneys, our hearts, and protecting us against conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

Damon Gameau, the presenter of ‘That Sugar Film’, underwent a massive experiment to see what sugar did to his body over a 2 month period.  Damon’s mentor, Author David Gillepsie, advised Damon that Australian’s were eating an average of 40 grams of sugar a day, under the guise of healthy foods.  ‘He wasn’t going to even need to go near the lolly shop’. The sugar that Damon experimented with was not in the way of chocolate, soft drinks or ice cream, but the sugar that is found in our normal foods (fruit juices, fruit, breakfast cereals, milk drinks, pasta sauces, bread, marinade induced dishes, yoghurts, jam, Up and Go breakfast drinks, muesli bars, low fat meals). Primarily fructose sugar.

These are the foods that the public have come to believe as ‘healthy’.  ‘Low fat’ labelled foods means that manufacturers inject sugar into the products to make them palatable.  It’s really frustrating to find out that many of these products are often endorsed by nutritionists who are paid by companies such as Coke, Nestle and Kelloggs.  Then, there are the nutritionists who believe that its all about removing fat from our diets and not worrying about the sugar value of the products?! How can these companies promote health when the main ingredient for most of these products is large amounts of sugar?

While we need to take responsibility for what we and our children consume, it is imperative that we become better educated in what a healthy food options are, particularly from nutritionists who have no invested interest in those companies who promote sugar for the benefit of their company profits.

After seeing ‘That Sugar Film’, I’ve spent quite some time reading more on the topic of sugar, and its effects on our health.  The kids and I have been gobsmacked by the amounts of sugar in items that we once  considered healthy.   Let’s just say that we have a new disrespect for yoghurt these days.  Our foods are so laden with sugar now that its no wonder that we have issues with obesity, heart disease, diabetes, liver and kidney diseases, not to mention some cancers.

So, lets get back to Damon Gameau for a moment.

Before the experiment started, Damon’s health was perfect.  He had already been living an organic, sugar free, grass fed meat existence.   He had given up sugar when he wanted to impress his girlfriend Zoe of 7-ish years, and then continued the no sugar lifestyle.

At the end of the experiment, Damon’s blood tests indicated that his body was suffering. His liver enzyme test (The ALT test) went from 20 (20 below the safety line) to 60 (20 above the safety line), his triglycerides test before the experiment was .08 and then after the experiment it was 1.5 which is regarded at the risk point for metabolic disorders, and his weight had gone up 8.5 kg over the 2 months.

The doctor who oversaw Damon’s health throughout the experiment was particularly amazed and concerned by how much weight Damon gained around his tummy – An insulin resistance indicator.

While Damon was trying to keep his sugar load to 40 grams a day throughout the experiment, it was evident that 40 grams was an easy number to bypass, as I read about sugar and weight loss it has become obvious that one should consume far less than 40 grams of sugar a day. In fact, a Dr Joseph Mercola article I read today that said 15-25 grams of sugar per day will bring definite weight loss results.  This seems like a difficult plan to achieve, but isn’t it far more difficult to keep doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result?

Oh yes, that’s the definition of insanity!

It is however true, that we try and try and try to lose weight by using the same old methods that never really work – eat less/exercise more, and while this is somewhat true its more about what types of foods we are eating – not just eating less. So, now that I feel armed with more knowledge – I’m feeling quite powerful in terms of actually feeling like I can achieve my weight loss goal – something that I have been trying to do for sometime now.  I have a big birthday coming at the end of the year, and I really want to go into the next decade feeling great in myself.

I would like to encourage you to go and watch ‘That Sugar Film’.  You will be challenged to look at how much sugar you really consume on a daily basis, and you will be challenged to do something about it. ‘That Sugar Film’ is one of the best family friendly documentaries I have ever seen, and then go buy ‘That Sugar Book’, and check out both the website and facebook page.

Here is the official trailer for the film.  Go and see it, then let me know what you thought of it.