Aussie actor gets sugar rush from low-fat health foods

Thu Feb 26, 2015 4:08am EST
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By Pauline Askin

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian actor who set out to expose hidden sugar in health food said he gained 8.5 kg (19 lb) and a paunch after a 60-day low-fat diet, including yogurt, cereal, muesli bars and juices.

Damon Gameau's documentary, "That Sugar Film", studies the effect of consuming what it says is the average daily sugar intake for Australian adults - the equivalent of 40 teaspoons - on the human body.

"I think you can’t not be shocked by learning the average Australian consumes 40 spoonfuls of sugar per day, ” Gameau told Reuters.

The film's website explains how Gameau came to the "40 teaspoons" figure, with the first stop the Australian Bureau of Agriculture Resource Economics.

"Sugar is now hidden in so many foods that it is difficult to get a precise measurement. As a result there are lots of different figures flying around," it says. (

"That Sugar Film", featuring cameos by actors Hugh Jackman and Stephen Fry, opened in Australian cinemas this month and will be released in Britain in March.

In an experiment under medical supervision, the actor-turned-director increased his sugar intake while maintaining his exercise routine, but stayed away from soft drinks, chocolate and ice cream - traditional villains in anti-obesity campaigns.

Gameau's film makes him the guinea pig, just like Morgan Spurlock's award-winning 2004 documentary "Super Size Me" in which the American filmmaker stuck to a McDonald's-only diet.   Continued...