That Sugar Film is food for thought

In the words of Nancy Sinatra, Damon Gameau is in shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo Sugar Town. And he doesn’t want to be there. The Australian actor, known for his role in TV series, Love My Way, ventures on a one-man journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar, by embarking on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on his body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as ‘healthy’.

Gameau, who before this experiment had a sugar-free diet, spent two months consuming forty teaspoons a day (the average amount consumed by an Australian adult); on a diet that doesn’t include any junk food. He only ate ‘healthy’ foods that are in fact laden with hidden sugars like low fat yoghurt, muesli bars, juices and cereals.

The film lands very close to Super Size Me in both tone and subject matter. Handsome with a Russell Brand impishness, Gameau is a funny, engaging onscreen presence and the film delivers its many facts in an entertaining, colourful and fun way. There are some delightful guest appearances from Hugh Jackman, Stephen Fry, Brenton Thwaites (whose chiseled body suggests he hasn’t eaten a spoonful of sugar in his life), Isabel Lucas and Jessica Marais, while actress Zoe Tuckwell-Smith has lots of screentime as Gameau’s pregnant partner.

That Sugar Film is incredibly interesting in the way it breaks down the myths surrounding ‘healthy’ foods and calorie intake. The speedy transformation of the protagonist’s body and mood is astonishing. Remember, he isn’t eating only McDonalds, he is eating the average amount of sugar consumed by an Australian adult and actively avoiding things like chocolate and ice-cream. It’s also fascinating to see how the sugar industry is making the same moves as the smoking industry in its attempts to manipulate the general public.

Gameau sees firsthand the devastating effect that the introduction on carbonated drinks, especially Coke, has had on rural indigenous towns and also heads to North Carolina to talk to a young lad who drinks about 17 cans of Mountain Dew a day (did you know there is 40% more caffiene in Mountain Dew than in Coke). His teeth are an absolute horror-show and his, much-needed, dental operation is excruciating to watch.

This documentary does a great job in informing without being too preachy and is certainly food for thought. That Sugar Film should be watched by everyone.

That Sugar Film is touring cinemas in March. For tickets & information visit where you will also find details which contains; recipes, information about sugar, resources for schools and educators.

bobby townsend


Review by Bobby Townsend.