ACTOR and filmmaker Damon Gameau stopped eating sugar when he met his girlfriend over three years ago. In order to impress her, he started eating her sugar-free food.
"I started to lower my intake of refined sugar without even thinking of it," he said.
"I noticed I was a lot calmer, stable and more present when I wasn't having sugar."
>>That Sugar Film will be screened at Palace Cinemas Byron Bay on Thursday, March 19, with a Q&A with Damon Gameau.
Health authorities in the US recommend an intake of sugar equivalent to six tablespoons a day for females and nine for males.
There is no such recommendation by health authorities in Australia, but it's estimated we consume an average of 40 teaspoons of sugar a day.
Under the guidance of a team of scientists and nutritionists, he ate a high sugar diet of 40 teaspoons of sugar a day for 60 days.
The catch is that he does this without consuming any soft drinks, chocolate, ice cream or confectionery.
He only eats the perceived "healthy" foods that are in fact laden with hidden sugars like low-fat yoghurt, muesli bars, juices and cereals.
The documentary portrays the effects of such an experiment after being sugar-free for years.
The result is a creative film "sweetened" by adding 290 special effects to the final cut.
"A lot of people consider documentaries dry and a bit dull," he said. "We needed to find the best way to communicate (the message of the film) to an audience that normally would not watch a documentary."
The film also features a number of celebrities such as Stephen Fry, Isabel Lucas, Jessica Marais, Hugh Jackman and Brenton Thwaites.
But it's not only celebrities who have endorsed the film, said Gameau.
"I've shown the film to a number of high-ranking scientists and they are over the moon, because they say the hardest part of their work is how to communicate science in an interesting way," he said.
"They are delighted that I managed to make it accurate but also fun and clear to understand. I'm very proud of that."
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