For 60 days, Gameau consumed a high-sugar diet. But he didn’t eat chocolate, ice cream, soft drinks and the like. He only had things like cereals, muesli, low-fat yogurt and fruit juices. These foods are commonly perceived as ‘healthy’ but are packed with hidden sugars. And the effects on Gameau’s body didn’t take long to become obvious. These included weight gain, mood swings, reduced concentration, and fatty liver disease.

Hidden sugars

“That Sugar Film presents facts in a playful and humorous manner. There’s a lot of fun and special effects, which makes the whole experience appealing to children and families. But the message is serious,” says Gameau.

“We are not suggesting that people should eliminate sugar from their diet, but they should be aware of the hidden sugars in their food, so that they can make informed choices, for themselves and their children. The response from the Australian public has been fantastic; well beyond our expectations. We are now taking the message into the community, particularly schools and hospitals, to really make a difference.”

Impact on mental health

An area of major concern relates to the impact of sugar on certain cognitive abilities. For example, studies suggest that too much sugar may negatively affect memory and learning, and that food high in refined sugars, such as snacks and desserts, may reduce children’s ability to concentrate.

Big changes

That Sugar Film will be released in the UK on June 26. Gameau, who also authored That Sugar Book, which expands the central themes of the film, says: “We are hoping to see big changes in the near future.

“The great thing about food is that you can decide what to eat, and what to give your kids to eat. You don’t have to rely on the government or the food companies to make changes. You can make them yourselves – now.”