On Saturday evening I viewed a documentary film with my parents titled Sugar Coated. Michèle Hozer’s efforts as the director, editor, and producer of the film allowed for Sugar Coated to win the CSA Donald Britain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary in 2016, and for good reason; the film probes the question as to whether or not sugar can be classified as a toxin.
The film focuses on Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist, and his own opinions regarding sugar and the ways in which sugar is subtly forced into the North American diet. His reasoning for delving into the investigation of sugar results from his encounters with young children already dealing with obesity and type 2 diabetes, and his frustration with such situations. Several doctors and scientists are interviewed throughout the duration of the film, as well as a dentist, and I found the medical expertise in combination with personal frustration from these individuals to be an effective way of conveying the severity of the sugar issue in North America.
Something that particularly stuck out to me was one doctor’s discussion of the Health Check symbol once promoted by the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation. The symbol was advertised on foods and beverages that the Heart and Stroke Foundation seemingly approved as healthy and further as part of a balanced diet, however, this particular doctor began some investigating to determine the validity of this symbol and unveiled that the Foundation was endorsing products that contained more sugar than chocolate bars, for example, “sugar-free” fruit gummies. The Health Check symbol was dropped in 2014, obviously for good reason.
I do not want to spoil the film entirely in regards to its discussion of sugar and how it is somewhat controversial in terms of processed foods and when consumed in excess, therefore I certainly recommend viewing it. It is very informative and eye-opening, and I think it is material that requires attention if diseases such as type two diabetes and obesity are to be diminished in contemporary society, specifically amongst children.