It's Super-Sugarise-Me as an Aussie documentary maker goes on a high-sucrose diet and records the harsh consequences
More than a decade on from ‘Super Size Me’, journalists and documentary-makers are still clinging on to the shock-diet-yields-unshocking-results formula. So while this Aussie film about the evils of the sugar industry may not deliver much in the way of grand dietary revelations, there’s enough insight here to have you quivering like a candy floss in the wind during your next grocery shop.
Writer-director and dad-to-be Damon Gameau spends 60 days on a high-sugar diet, consuming the equivalent of 40 teaspoons of the stuff a day through fruit juices, granola bars and other products whose packaging suggests they’re good for us. Calorie-wise, he’s consuming little more than the recommended allowance. Waistline-wise, he’s giving his pregnant wife a run for her money.
Gameau puts in an impressive amount of legwork during the experiment, travelling deep into the Australian outback to the aboriginal village hooked on fizzy drinks, into the offices of various nutrition experts and – inevitably – to the US. Here, things get murky as Gameau meets scientists funded by the big soft drinks companies. Guess what their research says?
Elsewhere, the mock-classroom video bits don’t patronise, there’s a wonderful cameo from Stephen Fry denouncing the evils of fructose, and the ‘Flight of the Conchords’-style closing musical number is nothing short of hilarious. All of which adds up to a film that doesn’t quite blow the lid off the sugar bowl, but ought to keep pop-science fans sweet.