That Sugar Film

Sugar… The issue is close to my heart. I watched my beloved Grandmother endure the horror diabetes inflicted on her. Her legs were eventually amputated. I was a healthy vegetarian when I fell pregnant, and I was then diagnosed with gestational diabetes. My endocrinologist and dietician looked at my food and exercise diary and could find nothing amiss, nothing that needed changing. I wanted to do the right thing for my baby so dutifully injected insulin and walked several kilometres after each meal. Diabetes runs in my family, so genetically, the gun was loaded. I have a little girl in love with sugar (as most kids are), and I was excited at showing her this movie. She had to see it for herself, rather than through a series of lectures. I am aware that if I become too much of a sugar-free officer, she will rebel, and gorge when I am not around. Everything in moderation.

That Sugar Film
That Sugar Film

Damon Gameau is the hero of That Sugar Film. He ate only (supposedly), healthier choices throughout his experiment. His weight shot up, he was well on his way to cirhoisis of the liver, heart disease and  type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, his calorie intake remained the same, as did his level of exercise. The only point of difference was his sugar intake. We saw a young American man with all his teeth rotted from drinking ‘pop.’ Images that remain. My daughter ate an apple as a snack today and has not asked for anything sugary. I resent sugar’s inclusion in almost all processed foods. How can you have control over how much  you are ingesting?

When I had gestational diabetes, I had to stop eating out. I would select the healthiest option on the menu, such as steamed veggies, only to have my sugar levels go through the roof. The dressings and seasonings they coated the meal in were often to blame. I make most meals from scratch in our place, and we have a big box of seasonal locally -grown produce delivered each week. My supermarket bills have gone down as a result. The film was an eye-opener as is the accompanying book. My daughter will still ask for fairy bread and donuts, but she knows she can’t live on them. The movie inspires critical thinking, and as a result, I owe Damon a debt of gratitude.

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4 thoughts on “That Sugar Film

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  1. I avoid processed foods as much as possible and cook at home from scratch for the same reason. ALWAYS read product labels EVERY time you shop. We are creatures of habit but ingredients do change from time to time without fanfare. Tinned vegetables are often a pantry stand-by or a staple for those on tight budgets but so many have salt and/or sugar added. Why? You are also correct about the sauces, dressings and condiments. They are a significant source of extra calories but also may contain thickeners, preservatives and other additives besides salt and sugar. I am not surprised at the ‘obesity epidemic’. It is not as simple as calories in vs calories out. I am convinced much of the problem is the metabolic effects of pollutants and additives in the food chain together with the processing of foods. It is so important to educate our children about healthy foods just like you are doing and when children are used to the natural sweetness and flavours of untainted foods, they will find sugary foods too sickly.

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