Eating 40 teaspoons of sugar a day, as Australian actor Damon Gameau does in his new stunt documentary That Sugar Film, probably isn't a great idea. That's hardly news. In the grand tradition of popular anti-McDonald's doc Super Size Me, Gameau quickly develops a photogenic laundry list of symptoms, including 19 pounds of weight gain, lethargy, and (a mere 18 days into the experiment) a test result suggesting he is at risk for fatty liver disease.
That Sugar Film quickly escalates to more outrageous claims, blaming sugar for everything from bipolar disorder to the difficulty of addiction recovery. The scruffy and sincere Gameau trots out self-interested charlatans—one expert, Tom Campbell, is identified as a "former NASA physicist"—to buttress the notion that sugar makes consumers fuzzy-headed and low-energy. In the end, the film is a much stronger testimonial to the power of the placebo effect than it is to the dangers of sugar.