Is Sugar Toxic?


In “That Sugar Film”, Damon Gemeau changes from his normal diet containing no refined sugars, to a “health-conscious” diet low in fat. He only consumed foods that were marked as healthy, like low-fat yogurts, fruit juices, and low-fat cereals. However, the aim was to reach the Australian average of 40 teaspoons of sugar per day without eating food that is clearly unhealthy.

In two month his body changed as following:

  • He gained 8.5 kg body weight (mainly in form of visceral fat)

  • His risk for heart diseases went up

  • He deveopled an onset of insulin resistance

  • He started to develop signs of a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

The most interesting aspect is actually, that he didn’t even change the calories he consumed. He simply replaced the fats with sugar!

Sugar makes you fat

Eating too much sugar leads to accumulations of fat around the organs - visceral fat. A study from 2011 demonstrates this phenomenon by showing that two lean people can have a very different fat distribution. The person at the bottom here has much more fat around his organs, something that is called visceral fat and is associated with a variety of metabolic diseases and Alzheimer’s disease. The scientist even created a name for lean people at risk for metabolic diseases: TOFI – thin-on- the-outside fat-on-the-inside.


  1. Damen Gameau - That Sugar Film

  2. Thomas et al., The Missing Risk: MRI and MRS Phenotyping of Abdominal Adiposity and Ectopic Fat, Obesity, 2012