The kids want to do WHAT?


The youngest’s skipping club held a fundraiser last night – a viewing of That Sugar Film.

Not exactly a hit with the under 10s … a VERY restless audience.

Surprise! Not a surprise …

The other – real – surprise was the reaction my kids had when we left the hall: they both wanted to give up sugar.

I gave them a long, hard stare and explained what giving up sugar actually meant. They stood firm: no more sugar.

So I showed them the labels all their favourite foods in the pantry – ever single one had sugar in it. (Actually, that even freaked me out.)

Nope, still not swayed on their sugar-free course.

I’m not really equipped to start feeding them entirely sugar-free diets from tomorrow morning, so I suggested we keep eating sugar for the weekend and give it up next week.

They agreed and ate the leftover polar bear cupcakes I’d made for the school band fundraiser as their dessert …

I’ll be interested to see if their resolve lasts.

That Sugar Film stars an Aussie bloke called Damon Gameau, who embarks on an experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on his body. For 60 days he consumes 40 teaspoons of sugar a day by eating foods that are commonly perceived as ‘healthy’ but are actually laden with hidden sugars, stuff like low-fat yogurt, muesli bars, juices and cereals. While filming the doco, he gains something like 8-10 kilograms, feels lethargic and moody, and starts to develop liver disease.

Pretty incredible over such a short period of time.

But I think the thing that freaked the eldest out the most was the 18-year-old from Kentucky in the US who was getting all his teeth removed because they were infected and rotten from drinking 12 cans of Mountain Dew a day. He started when he was two years old … apparently they give it to kids in their baby bottles there.


The youngest wants to give up bread and pasta as well. I’m trying to talk her out of it. There’s no way she could do three hours of skipping a week, 90 minutes of swimming and three hours of gynmastics without carbs.

It would also be a bloody nightmare doing her school lunches every day.

She’s already worrying about what she’ll do about her birthday cupcakes next year for her class … and all the other cupcakes that enter the classroom every week for other people’s birthdays.

Nup, I really can’t see this lasting.

But bless them for wanting to give it a try.

Erm … I’ve suddenly had a little panic about how cross people might become about this blog. I copped soooooooo much abuse for a blog post I wrote once called I’m Glad My Kids Aren’t Fat that got a run on Mamamia. People decided I was the devil and a terrible mother for saying stuff like …

When I enter my local aquatic centre, I shudder at the size of some of the kids in their cossies. I murmur a prayer of thanks that mine aren’t carrying all those spare tyres.

Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t love my children less if they were large. They will always be my sweethearts, no matter what.  And I will always foster their self-esteem, no matter what. But I really hope – for their sakes – that they stay thin.

Perhaps “thin” is the wrong word. It’s been bastardised to mean size sub-size-zero celebrities tottering down beaches in bikinis with every rib clearly showing.

What’s the word I’m looking for then? One that means “not fat” … whatever it is, that’s what I want my kids to stay.

I wish “thin” hadn’t become such a corrupted, dirty word. It’s the way nature/God had in mind when it/he/she created us. He/she meant us to be lean, mean fighting machines, not sweating, shuffling mounds of fat.

Australia is one of the fattest nations in the world – fourteen million Aussies are overweight or obese – yet we encourage our children to embrace their shape, no matter what …

Etc, etc.

Maybe if I’d called it “I’m Glad My Kids Aren’t Obese” people would have been less outraged.

Ah, I think haters are gonna hate no matter what you call it.

Song of the day: The Rolling Stones “Brown Sugar”



7 thoughts on “The kids want to do WHAT?

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  1. I can relate to your kids. I’d love to give up sugar but there’s no possible way I could do it. I don’t eat food with added sugar but I have cut down to one teaspoon in my coffee and I’d never give that up. Also I believe there may be sugar in wine 😉

  2. Why do they want to give up bread and pasta? Is it all the hype about paleo and the ridiculous stupidity of Pete Evans? I have no problem with reducing sugar consumption – lets face it, we should all do that. But when people want to cut out entire food groups without a medical reason I get a little scared. I have a friend who’s been anorexic for years and the way she views food as an enemy all started from this point.

    1. I had to cut out all carbs for medical reasons, but I think it’s crazy for the kids to give them up when they don’t have to. I’m steering them towards low sugar rather than no sugar.

  3. Such an interesting debate, this whole sugar thing. I just saw the film last week. I am definitely now more conscious of the added sugars in “healthy” packaged foods and I have and will continue to cut down on those. My child’s school canteen has gone completely sugar-free (low-sugar rice in the sushi, teriyaki sauce made without sugar, “bliss” balls made with date and oat and I don’t know what else.) Personally I am sceptical about cutting out an entire food group. And in the Q&A at the end of the film, Damon says he’s not advocating for people to completely cut it out – that’s just his personal choice. He says if you choose to have a bit of icecream or a glass of wine that’s fine, maybe just don’t have cereal and diet-yoghurt for breakfast that day. It makes sense. If my son gave up bread and pasta, he’d hardly be consuming any calories at all – they’re his major food group! Keep us posted on how your girls go.

    1. The eldest is already leaning towards cutting dramatically but not entirely. Their dad isn’t on board so they’re going to start it Wednesday at my place.

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