Friday, 1 May 2015

Sugar Coated at Hot Docs

My third food documentary that I saw at Hot Docs last night was called SUGAR COATED

SUGAR COATED is a film by Michele Hozer about the rise in consumption of Sugar and the related health care consequences since the 1970's.

Cristin Kearns a Denver dentist is fed up with the increase in cavities that she sees in her patients and starts to embark on a bit of research as to why it's happening.  She stumbles upon a goldmine of documents from an abandoned factory called Great West Sugar Company that was closed in 1976.  What she uncovers is a PR plan similar to the way they promoted smoking in the 70's.  A plan to fight anyone that said that sugar consumption was toxic or bad for your health.  They made sure that everyone said that in moderation it was a healthy part of life.  The responsibility of sugar consumption was placed on the consumer and that sugar was safe to use.  There was an increase in sugar substitutes when women were concerned with their weights and this PR machine set out to shut them down so that regular sugar consumption would increase.  

Sugar consumption has increased 100% in the past 20 years.  You have to wonder why that is the case.  

Dr. Robert Lustig a pediatric endocrinologist also appears in the film and was at the screening for the Q&A.  He sees the daily increase in the obesity of his patients and the earlier development of type 2 diabetes.  He blames the marketing of sugar to kids as one of the causes.  Everyday kids are bombarded with products that are overloaded in sugar.  Parents don't even know how much sugar they are consuming. 

Sugar is a part of so many things in our lives, Birthdays, Halloween, Valentine's Day, Easter, Christmas and all kinds of other celebrations.  It's a reward for a hard day or a way to comfort someone when they are down.  Sugar acts like a drug in the brain making it very addictive and the more you eat the more you want.  But they will tell you that it's healthy and non addictive.  So why do 1 in 11 people now have diabetes when years ago it was 1 in 42?

The film provides a lot of scientific expertise and facts and uncovers the cover up of the sugar industry.  It's full of sugar porn too so you will either give up sugar or run out and get some right after.  But it will wake you up to how much sugar is consumed in our current day.

Beware of those packaged products and drinks that claim to be healthy.....