I'm retired, busy with volunteer radio and (with my wife) going to the theatre and enjoying 'fine dining".
Sweeten the blow
Make no mistake; you will be challenged by this film. Some stark information about the damage caused by sugar (specifically fructose) is presented in no short measure. The information provided is disturbing and, the disease and death it has caused in an Aboriginal community, is particularly heart rending. Throughout the film there is an uncomfortable feeling of looking of seeing all the sugary treats we are familiar with in Australia and more than likely we have consumed. Even more disturbing is the sugar count on what we thought were healthy foods (and might even have a Heart Foundation tick) that we consumed with alacrity such as smoothies, healthy breakfast cereals and muesli bars.
But there is a sweetener in this film. It is amusing and is made with some delightful special effects.
The presenter and director is a charming quirky young Australian actor Damon Gameau who has been sugar-free for 3 years. He says he did it to impress his girlfriend whom he now lives with and is expecting their first baby. Camera cue to cute film clips of baby bumps and a besotted couple living in a country idyll awaiting the arrival of their baby.
Now jump to the more disturbing part of the film. Embarks on a personal experiment to consume the national average amount of sugar - 40 teaspoons per day. A la Morgan Spurlock who did the same in the film "Supersize Me", he did this under medical supervision and we follow the progress of his health deterioration over 40 days.
During the process he speaks to a number of professionals and authors such as David Gillespie (Sweet White Poison) and even goes to the USA to explore eating habits there.
However there is a really big kicker to this personal experiment. He only eats so called healthy foods; low fat yoghurts, cereals, "healthy" kids lunch-box treats and drinks such as fruit juices; no lollies, cakes, coca cola or other food/drinks we would identify as obviously sugary and sweet. These are the foods with fructose content we may have ignored under the guise of "this is healthy stuff".
This film has succeeded in being a remarkably entertaining film as well as a thought provoking one. It is on the vanguard of some new dietary thinking, so expect it to arouse some controversy and counter-reaction. But whatever else this is not a film to ignore and, in our view, a must-see. Oh and without a spoiler alert there is a nice surprise at the end of the film which will have some members of the audience 'aahing'.
Oh and best not to bring lollies to see the film! Enjoy the film