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DVD Review: Sweet Suicide, A Documentary by Nancy Appleton, PhD

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Sweet Suicide is a 60-minute documentary produced in 2009 by Nancy Appleton, PhD, about the health dangers of sugar. Appleton is America's most well known anti-sugar expert and author of Lick the Sugar Habit, which is still selling strong after 30 years in print.

The DVD relies on testimonials from researchers, medical doctors, and individuals to make the toxic case about sugar, and this is the strongest, most persuasive and most interesting material. It loses punch when Appleton makes the claim that mainstream health organizations collectively suffer from agnosticism because they ignore important information about sugar. A more compelling and dangerous conclusion could be drawn. What if, for example, we're witnessing the closing of the American health mind where only one "politically correct" point of view is sought, tolerated, and communicated? I'm always struck by the similarity of the messages in the health newsletters published by our leading universities, and sometimes wonder if they're secretly written by the same person. The bottom line is that powerful and rich drug and food companies are controlling our health by controlling the messaging we hear through advertising and through their funding for research projects.

Sweet Suicide reminds us we are constantly being programmed to believe that "comfortably living with disease" is a desirable outcome to our health woes. Somewhere along the line we're forgetting that good health used to be defined as the absence of disease. Isn't prevention or curing of disease a preferable goal? Instead, we buy into the concept that healthiness depends on taking expensive drugs until our last breath on planet Earth.

The DVD also draws attention to the promotion of supposedly healthy products like Ensure (the adult nutritional drink), some yogurts, most fruit drinks, and power bars where sugar is the key ingredient. The average American has no idea how much sugar is being consumed on a daily basis. Even though sugar quantities are identified by grams on the nutrition label, how many people know that four grams is the equivalent of one teaspoon? The average breakfast drink has 24 grams or six teaspoons of sugar, and six teaspoons is too much for most people, especially children.

The introduction to Sweet Suicide features a video clip of a young boy eating six cubes of sugar, and it captures how his good mood quickly changes to a temper tantrum. There are also several individuals who talk about their sugar consumption and the direct link to food cravings, sugar addiction, and obesity. Previously it was estimated that out-of-control, addictive eating was problematic for less than 10% of the overweight population. Now it's estimated that 40% or more of the population suffers from compulsive eating. Sweet Suicide says sugar is the root of this health evil and many others, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and food allergies.

Appleton's DVD is being reviewed because she dares to step outside the predictable health party line and say something provocative, different, and useful. Sweet Suicide isn't as slick as a Michael Moore documentary, but people who suffer from compulsive eating and systemic chronic health problems will find something here that's worth 60 minutes of viewing time.

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About Karen Bentley

Author, Educator, Speaker, Founder of The Sugar-Free Institute and creator of The Sugar-Free Miracle Diet. Visit www.karenbentley.com, www.sugarfreeinstitute.com, www.sugarfreemiracle.com.