A recent headline saying "Man eats sugar-heavy diet for 60 days, receives shocking diagnosis," caught my attention. After all, what could be "shocking" about his diagnosis? Unless the big news was that he reversed some ailment or lost 15 pounds in the process, leading to some crazy new "too much sugar is good for you" discovery, I highly doubted that the diagnosis had anything to do with achieving great health.
After all, he's said to have consumed a whopping 40 teaspoons of sugar daily. The American Heart Association's daily recommendation is six teaspoons for women and nine teaspoons for men.
So-Called "Healthy" Foods Have Deceptive Packaging
Damon Gameau, an Australian filmmaker and TV actor decided to go on the two month long sugar binge, engaging in bad dietary habits much like Morgan Spurlock did when he ate only food from McDonald's for his film, Super Size Me.
However, rather than eat ice cream by the gallon or fill up on obvious sugar-laden items, his sugar intake involved eating foods that most people tend to associate as being healthy. His effort was to illustrate how clever packaging and wording tricks many people, leading them to consume large quantities of so-called healthy foods, when in reality, they're harming their health.
"I had no soft drink, chocolate, ice cream or confectionery," says Gameau. "All the sugars that I was eating were found in perceived healthy foods, so low-fat yogurts, and muesli bars, and cereals, and fruit juices, sports drinks ... these kind of things that often parents would give their kids thinking they're doing the right thing."
In fact, many times he ate a meal that represented what is typically found in a child's lunchbox, chowing down on jam sandwiches, juices, a bar and a variety of other snacks.
So, what was "shocking" about his diagnosis?
On Way to Obesity, Liver Failure
He was in the early stages of developing fatty liver disease, a precursor to liver failure.
Furthermore, he was well on his way of joining the obese population, which the World Health Organization (WHO) says has doubled worldwide since 1980. In the United States, it's estimated that one-third of adults are obese, which plays a significant role in a range of detrimental heath problems including development (or complications) of diabetes. In Gameau's case, doctor's found that he put on four inches of visceral fat around his waist in this short timeframe.
Furthermore, doctors also noted that his metal function was impacted, saying that it was "unstable." Indeed, he was aware that his mood had changed. He also says that he felt increasingly lethargic and that he still felt very hungry during this two-month high-sugar eating feast.
"Sugar's now in 80 percent of the processed food we're eating," he says. "If we can remove that, that's the first step towards making a change."
He hopes to generate further awareness of the sugars that lurk in foods that are typically considered healthy in his movie, That Sugar Film. It's expected to be released in Australian theaters in February 2015. As of this writing, no release date has been set for a U.S. release date.
I don't know about you, but I'm eager to watch this movie. Of course, I'm also going to remain mindful of sugar content so I can keep my good health on track!
Jennifer Lea Reynolds
U.Jennifer Lea Reynolds is a weight loss success story who enjoys living a healthy lifestyle. A fan of the elliptical, roasted asparagus and remembering to put the lid on the blender, she’s appeared in many national and local print publications. She lives in New England where she writes professionally about health and wellness in online publications including U.S. News & World Report, Reader's Digest, Woman's Day, The Huffington Post, and more.