The premise of That Sugar Film
So what is the experiment really about?
- Damon is to consume 40 teaspoons of sugar a day – the amount that the average human in the Western society consumes daily. Sounds crazy? Not if you know that just one cup of smoothie can pack up to 43 teaspoons of (hidden) sugar alone.
- That’s another thing to keep in mind: Damon will only consume hidden sugar. Not the sweets and soda everyone knows are bad, but the everyday items you’d pick up from the shop thinking they’re good for your health.
- Calories were kept at 2300kcal before and during the experiment. It’s only the spread of calories that changed.
Enter the world of hidden sugar…
- Fatty liver disease development. Damon’s liver cells were getting damaged.
- Lethargy, a lack of energy and motivation to exercise.
- Mood swings and manic behaviour.
- Sugar is the most addictive substance on Earth. Yet it’s legal. Fun fact: in one study it was found that rats preferred to consume sugar over cocaine.
- This is because sugar triggers the same reward regions in the brain as drugs do. The dopamine rush drives us to keep consuming sugar in order to achieve the state of high again. And it really does give highs. You see consuming it releases a variety of opioids that make us instantly happy. Though not for long.
Snapshot #6. Shows a side effect prevalent in poorer communities. It emphasizes the need for proper education on what sugar intake does to our bodies.
Developing communities around the world are getting fatter and less healthy than they used to be. This is mainly due to increased availability of sugar-rich products, as well as due to the lies spread by the sugar and food industries.
For example, did you know that high fructose corn syrup, agave syrup, coconut palm sugar and other fancy names were all created to cover up the same processed sugar product? The only difference between them is the proportion of glucose and fructose they all contain.
Snapshot #7. The bliss point. A documented scientific term for sugar dose that’s optimal for getting people addicted to it.
Food industry a while back found out that people like to consume sweeter products. Adding more sugar to a product makes people crave it so they repurchase it. However there is such a thing as adding too much sugar, which would cause people to go off a product and stop buying it. The treshold between these two states is called the bliss point.
Manipulating sugar amounts in everyday items exploits people’s trust into certain brands or products. The documentary makes the point that even the rise of consumerism can directly be attributed to the introduction of sugar into our foods People get hooked on paying almost nothing for a pleasure source. This then transfers to other parts of their life so they’re always looking for a quick rush.
Snapshot #8. The finale, aka 60 days and 2360 teaspoons of sugar later…
Damon ended up with the following results:
- Signs of insulin resistance and fatty liver disease development. Both key factors that eventually lead to metabolic diseases: type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease. It’s obvious that this diet had detrimental effects, and just within 2 months Damon went from being healthier than average to becoming part of the least healthy segment of people.
- Damon’s triglyceride levels jumped from a healthy .8 to extremely risky 1.5!
- On the cosmetic side he gained 8.5kg and added 10cm to his waist circumference.
How’s that for an experiment?!
What shocked me the most was how many products out there contain hidden sugar in simple carbohydrate form. A lot of products are packed with fructose syrups disguised under ‘healthy’ names like agave or coconut palm sugar.
It’s worth noting again that Damon stayed at the same caloric intake as before the experiment. The only thing that changed was the spread of calories he consumed. Instead of the majority being healthy fats, he now consumed mainly carbohydrates. It’s this that made him gain visceral fat which literally wraps around organs and is linked to various chronic diseases. If he would continue eating like the average person, he would certainly end up shortening his lifespan.
He would experience the rollercoaster ride of a lifetime, one too many people will be familiar with:
- Extreme ups and downs in energy
- Constant moodiness and cravings
- Limited cognitive performance
- Addiction to sugar
- Being dependant on constant consumption in order to feel energized and yourself
If you ask me these points explain the poor lifestyle and quality of life. You can see how miserable Damon looks in the after shot – watching a movie you notice that he was truly suffering having to experience what people live with daily. One of the points he made was that people simply don’t realise how good it can feel to fuel your body on proper, high-octane food rather than sugar.
Interested in seeing the whole movie? Watch it at thatsugarfilm.com.