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Showing posts with label that sugar film. Show all posts
Showing posts with label that sugar film. Show all posts

Sugar is not an addictive substance: masterpost

There's so much nonsense doing the rounds about how "sugar is addictive just like illegal drugs are addictive", usually coming from LCHF cultists. So here's a masterpost of all the information to put that myth to rest once and for all.

Also though; here's my collection of reviews of That Sugar Film, in case you missed it: That Sugar Film: Link Dump

Update: September 2018

Here's a great new article; Is Sugar Really Bad For You, by Jessica Brown via BBC Future. It's wonderful to see such good and factual content on a major platform for once.

You'll find much of the supporting evidence for the facts laid out in this article, below.

Studies on sugar addition, food addiction and eating addiction:

The plausibility of sugar addiction and its role in obesity and eating disorders.

  • The [above] predications have in common that on no occasion was the behaviour predicted by an animal model of sucrose addiction supported by human studies.
  • There is no support from the human literature for the hypothesis that sucrose may be physically addictive or that addiction to sugar plays a role in eating disorders.


The mesolimbic system and eating addiction: what sugar does and does not do.

  • Sucrose is reinforcing and it promotes dopamine release independent of its taste.
  • Drugs and sucrose have strong yet transient effects on the mesolimbic system.
  • Addictive drugs severely disrupt brain plasticity after long-term exposure.
  • No data currently suggest similar central adaptations following sucrose.


Eating is addictive but sugar and fat are not like drugs, study says.

  • People can become addicted to eating for its own sake but not to consuming specific foods such as those high in sugar or fat, research suggests.
  • An international team of scientists has found no strong evidence for people being addicted to the chemical substances in certain foods.
  • The brain does not respond to nutrients in the same way as it does to addictive drugs such as heroin or cocaine, the researchers say. 


“Eating addiction”, rather than “food addiction”, better captures addictive-like eating behavior.

  • “Eating addiction” describes a behavioral addiction.
  • An “eating addiction” is not necessarily associated with obesity.
  •  Consider “eating addiction” as a disorder in DSM-5 “Non-Substance-Related Disorders”.

Sugar addiction: the state of the science


  • Given the lack of evidence supporting it, we argue against a premature incorporation of sugar addiction into the scientific literature and public policy recommendations. 

Eating dependence and weight gain; no human evidence for a 'sugar-addiction' model of overweight.


  • The current findings indicate that sugary foods contribute minimally to 'food dependence' and increased risk of weight gain. 

See also...

Sugars and Health Controversies: What Does the Science Say?

We conclude that added sugars consumed in the normal forms in which humans consume them, at amounts typical of the human diet and for the time period studied in randomized controlled trials, do not result in adverse health consequences. Although more research trials are needed in many areas of sugar consumption and health, there is little scientific justification for recommending restricting sugar consumption below the reasonable upper limit recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 of no more than 25% of calories. 

 Bonus Content:
 Even More: Do people need to "quit sugar" to lose weight?

Bonus Content: Studies on the effects of restricting food choices. 


Selective carbohydrate or protein restriction: effects on subsequent food intake and cravings.


  • The results indicated that selective food restriction resulted in selective behavioural consequences.
  • Specifically, carbohydrate-restricted participants consumed more of a high-carbohydrate food than did controls or protein-restrictors, in addition to reporting more cravings for high-carbohydrate foods over the restriction period.
  • Overall, selective food restriction is demonstrated to have negative psychological and behavioural consequences. 

Even more:

Restricting Your Children's Chocolate Could Do More Harm Than Good.
"In terms of parenting practice, the results indicate that in the short term, restricting 'bad' foods is an effective means to promote healthier eating habits. But by restricting access you may encourage a preoccupation with unhealthy foods which in the long term could encourage the very behaviour you are trying to prevent," explains Professor Ogden.
 And finally:


Reviews of That Sugar Film: link dump

By no means whatsoever could this be considered
"too much sugar". Don't let silly people spoil your enjoyment
of nutritious & delicious foods.
What we know about sugar is that you really don't want to have too much of it terribly often.

What does "too much" mean, though? Well, according the World Health Organisation we should limit to no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar on a daily basis. Key word here is "added", as the naturally occurring sugars within nutritious foods are absolutely fine within the context of a balanced diet of appropriate total energy provision.

Another word for those naturally occurring sugars is "intrinsic". We're talking about the fructose in fruits and vegetables, the lactose in dairy products, and so on. Various unsavory characters out there are making a lot of money via fear mongering over carbs in general, sugars in particular, and in some cases fructose specifically. Rarely are they actually people with a medical or dietetic background. More often they are simply marketers (at best) or outright charlatans and con men (and women).

Again, to reiterate: intrinsic sugars within an appropriate total intake are of no concern whatsoever. Added sugars in less nutritious & more indulgent choices should be limited. No country as best I am aware has healthy eating guidelines to the contrary, all recommend that added sugars be limited. The suggestion you'll often read from Low Carb High Fat trolls enthusiasts that the official guidelines support massive consumption of sugars is ridiculous and disingenuous. In other words they are lying through their teeth.

However it is possible that people might be unaware of the amount of sugar in some choices of foods and condiments that wouldn't seem obvious. This may be a valid concern which That Sugar Film addresses, however, none of the other claims it makes about sugar should be seen as even vaguely accurate.

A few quick side notes:
  1. It seems apparent that anti-sugar quackitivists also similarly fear monger over artificial sweeteners and in some cases other plant based sweeteners such as stevia. There is ample and on going research to support the safety of non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame. 
  2. Sugar is not addictive "like drugs are addictive".
  3. Be aware of how much "still sugar, but not regular cane sugar" is often in expensive "sugar free" products. In some cases more so than in the conventional brands they would claim to be "healthier" than.

Reviews of That Sugar Film:

Do Not Believe The Shoddy Science in That Stupid Sugar Film.

This one might be my favourite.
Gameau’s panel of experts includes a supergroup of charlatans and cranks, [such as] the floppy-haired nutrition guru David Wolfe. A self-described “Health, Eco, Nutrition and Natural Beauty Expert” and “one of the world’s top authorities” on “chocolate and organic superfoods,” Wolfe spends his days touting the spiritual and health benefits of such things as deer antler spray (a “levitational,” “androgenic force”), baby-reflexology, and “earthing” (in which people plug themselves into the ground wire of an electrical outlet so as to “naturally discharge electrical stress from our bodies”).
Seen outside the context of That Sugar Film, the man appears to be a lunatic.

Sugar, sugar everywhere, but not a grain to be seen.

Thanks to Prof. Tim Crowe at Thinking Nutrition.
Damon claimed that his weight gain happened despite eating the same amount of food than before his high-sugar experiment. Yet only a very superficial attempt was made to estimate how much food was being eaten over the 60 days, making such a claim unreliable at best.
So, is there something insidious about sugar calories that can lead to greater weight gain? Not really. Sugar, including fructose, is not inherently fattening relative to other foods. Its effect on body weight is from the extra energy it adds to our diets, that’s all.

Those Sugar Films, How Do They Stack Up?

A great write up of this and a couple of other films about sugar, from The Nutrition Press.
Taking a closer look at the show’s talent, we find a lack of relevant expertise. The show’s chief sugar adviser, David Gillespe, is a former lawyer and founder of a software company. He has no scientific or nutrition qualifications and his book Sweet Poison, which supposedly reveals the true health effects of dietary fructose, has no scientific basis. It is certainly true that Australians are consuming too much sugar but Gillespe’s claim of 40 teaspoons as the average Australian’s daily sugar intake is an over-estimate by about 10 teaspoons. He also says that the average family of four consumes the equivalent of 6 x 1kg bags of sugar each week. Doing the math, based on his own figure of 40 teaspoons, a family of four would consume 4.48kg. Based on 30 teaspoons, this figure is 3.36kg.

D-discussion on ‘That Sugar Film’: Diabetes Counseling Online.

Some of these processed foods that are referred to in the film are baked beans, containing the equiv of 1 tsp of sugar per serve. Using baked beans as an example, the beans themselves are highly nutritious and 1 tsp sugar is in the sauce, which also contains nutrients such as lycopene that we need to obtain from cooked tomatoes.  That 1 teaspoon of sugar is not enough to spike your BGLs and baked beans do have a low glycemic index, so they’re a good option for us when we need a meal in a hurry.
There are also other processed foods such as tinned and frozen vegetables, some breakfast cereals, some grainy breads and dairy products that as a dietitian I regularly encourage people to use.  If these products weren’t being recommended, then chances are that people might inadvertently choose something less nutritious in an effort to have a little less sugar. Learning to label read is so important here. Some of the healthier, lower GI breakfast cereals are really convenient options in our busy lives, as well as containing important nutrients that we need for wellbeing, despite containing some added sugars.

Food Watch Reviews That Sugar Film.

Damon consumes lots of liquids which have been shown to be easier to over-consume than whole foods e.g. apples vs apple juice. I’m guessing his intake DID exceed what he was eating before and these sweetened liquids were responsible for the fat gain in the abdominal region as well as the decline in liver function.

Who ever said flavoured milk or iced tea drinks are ‘healthy’? They may be healthier choices than sweetened soft drinks but they are not on any 'Must Eat Lists' or Pyramids.


That Sugar Film review: Powerful propaganda proves little.

What limits the film is that its central method of argument is unscientific by definition, despite the facts and figures provided by a slew of presumed experts. Simply put, Gameau's one-man experiment is not rigorous enough to prove anything at all, however striking his results seem.


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