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That Sugar Film

Damon Gameau explores what the Australian teenager’s average sugar intake does to his body and supports his experiment with a wealth of facts about sugar.


Damon Gameau usually avoids refined sugars and swears on healthy fats and fresh vegetables. As an experiment, the Australian decides to radically change his diet to that of an average Australian teenager. What this means is that Gameau will be consuming 40 teaspoons of sugar for 60 days. The twist is that the filmmaker avoids obvious sugary treats like chocolate but opts for seemingly healthy items like smoothies and low-fat yoghurt instead. Gameau ends up weighing 8.5 kilos more and is close to having a fatty liver at the end, though his average calorie intake remained the same. The premise is reminiscent of Morgan Spurlock’s SUPER SIZE ME who ate exclusively at McDonald’s for a month. Unlike the fast food doc, the experiment steers away from facts, percentages, and comparisons. The didactic film is lovably constructed though: Hugh Jackman has an amusing cameo talking about the cultural history of sugar and the talking heads playfully appear on food packaging throughout. Aside from one scene in which a 17 year old soft drink fan from Kentucky gets 26 (!) of his teeth extracted, the film is made with a lot of humor. The thesis is this: it is sugar,not fat, that is the main health hazard of our times. Whereas in the past sugar used to be considered a luxurious product, today’s industry uses tons of flavor-making sugar instead of the much maligned fats. It’s quite absurd to pit sugar and fat against each other, though: the excess of fructose in the liver transforms into nothing other than fat.

Christian Horn

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: That Sugar Film
Australien 2014, 102 min
Genre: Documentary
Director: Damon Gameau
Author: Damon Gameau
DOP: Judd Overton
Montage: Jane Usher
Music: Jojo Petrina
Distributor: Universum Film
Cast: Damon Gameau, Stephen Fry, Isabel Lucas, Brenton Thwaites
Release: 29.10.2015




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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