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Thoughts on That Sugar Film

Thursday, January 16, 2020

On a SparkPeople blog’s recommendation, I watched That Sugar Film on Amazon Prime. I found it to be entertaining, worth watching, and had a variety of viewpoints joining in consensus.

Sugar has always been my vice, and to some level, I am fairly convinced it always will be. Do I want to quit drinking Coca-Cola after watching? No. However, I will still try to reduce my intake, as I have since this journey on SparkPeople began.

The film certainly reminded me of Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me” from two decades ago. Can I say that now? Let me see….yep, 2006 was 14 years back now. Shocking, but a very, very extreme presentation of what “happens” when one eats sugar. Both documentaries were presented by someone who was “clean living”, or their own definition of such before embarking on their experiment. Embarking on any drastic diet change like that is going to have a very, very drastic effect on your body, as your body adjusts to the changes. Deciding to go from zero added sugar back to full blast in comparison to your countrymen, literally overnight, seems like a very rash thing to do – the same as going from eating well to fast food three meals a day.

One moment that I had an exasperated sigh at was that he claimed he was stressed, exhausted and moody when he was in the United States, more than halfway through the experiment. He was an expecting father with a wife fairly far along, on the opposite side of the planet from his usual time zone. I remember the time before my daughter was born, and I was stressed and moody as well. I am not 100% convinced that sugar was the specific problem there.

One area that was convincing was the blood work and weight gain he experienced. It is hard to argue this, and the on caveat my mind would point out is he drastically shifted his diet from one end of the spectrum to another. Going back to refined sugar did wreak havoc on this man’s body. He interviewed plenty of medical professionals, and the consensus was fairly clear that none of what refined sugar is doing is good for your body. It is interesting to see, but not surprising, that food giants like Coca Cola and Pepsico are funding research to provide nutritional advice, much in the same way that Tobacco giants, and chemical giants do the same.

Another good thing was that he had a variety of consultants on, from all areas on the spectrum from medical professional, to naturopath. This cuts off potential arguments about the veracity of his claims, as all viewpoints on health care are represented. Too often I watch food documentaries, and they seem to be stocked wall to wall with naturopaths who ignore scientific methods, not the case here.

My key takeaway from this movie is that added sugar is in a surprising number of healthy products, none of which are generally my problem. I generally cook with very little sugar, my sugar has almost always come from things like pop, gummy candies, and chocolate bars – not products where sugar is generally hidden. The number of spoons of sugar in a “fresh” juice surprised me.

Oddly, my daily nutrition report on SparkPeople generally doesn’t say that sugar is a current problem, even when I have the occasional Coke. This does make sense to me, as I seem to be losing weight. My problem is the problem of many Canadians, way too much salt.
Am I going to quit sugar – not today. Will I continue to try to reduce my intake as much as possible? Yes. I think moderating my food choices is my key to success. I think this film is important to watch, as “Super Size Me” was before it. That said, I am going to take the film with a “Grain of Salt”, which is the documentary that I expect to see sometime in the next decade – especially here in Canada.
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