A person may be astonished to learn how much damage sugar does to one’s body. This harm is precisely what That Sugar Film’s Damon Gameau demonstrates; the negative effect of consuming to much sugar. That Sugar Film is a documentary released in 2014 by Gameau and is targeted at all people who commune sugary foods. The film shows how people, particularly children, are susceptible to overconsumption of sugar and its hazardous effect. To that end, the persuasive strategy of the film can be examined by pathos, ethos, and, logos. That Sugar Film is insightful work because the creator uses rhetorical devices to illuminate on the contentious issue involving the negative effect of sugar on people and how culture contributes to the problem.
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To illuminate the drawbacks of consuming sugar, the director appeals to the audience emotionally by using pathos. Gameau uses pathos since he passionately elaborates on how the consumerist culture has led to a trend where children are nurtured with sugary drinks and foods. An obsession with sugary foods leads to severe effects on children since the mind grows faster in the years before school. As such, it makes the impact of sugar on learning and behavior more pronounced. Gameau’s study depicts that hyperactive children “show a more rapid rise in blood sugar than regular active kids after sugar intake.” The condition makes the bodies of children process sugar differently. After sugar intake, such kids enhance their production of cortisol, a stress hormone that is crucial in controlling levels of sugar in the blood. The bodies of regular active children send signals so that hormones can control blood sugar while those of hyperactive children do not do the same. Both healthy children and hyperactive children experience enhanced activity levels with sugar intake; however, the effect is more pronounced in the latter. The director’s passionate appeal convinces the audience that prevalent cultural belief regarding diets is a crucial contributor to this problem.
The use of pathos is also apparent since Gameau’s documentary also acts as a social commentary since he gives solutions to solve the sugar crisis in society. He cites two ideas for interventions that are worth exploring. Gameau’s plans include “basic nutrition education and resource management.” Primary nutrition education is much concerned with information to the public about the basics of healthy living. In this case, it covers the health and nutritional value of fruits and vegetables. Alternatively, resource management is all about how financial resources, human resources, and material resources are factors that determine if the grant would be successful. Aside from these interventions, the director illustrates how primary nutrition education highlights the need for everyone to have some knowledge of nutrition. This knowledge helps prevent lifestyle health-related complications such as obesity and overweight. By using pathos, the director appeals to the audience since he shows concern for their wellbeing.
The creator of the film compellingly uses ethos as he subjected himself to a sugar-only diet to demonstrate its harmful effects. Indeed, he manages to persuade the audience since he goes to great lengths to illustrate the impact of sugar on human beings. Gameau engages in a personal experiment that entails eating a sugar-only diet. Gameau’s research shows that “human beings release adrenaline to compensate for increased levels of glucose in the blood.” The state is referred to as hypoglycemia; it occurs when the level of glucose falls below the expected level in the blood. It is a condition that is marked by symptoms such as sweating, trembling, and change in thinking and behavior. Furthermore, the release of adrenaline in children takes place at higher levels than in adults. By taking this experiment, Gameau uses ethos to engage the audience on a deeper level and illuminates the downside of the overconsumption of sugary foods.
The use of logos enables the documentary to show the influence of culture, a person’s food intake, and nutritional status. Culture can be defined as shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive conceptions, as well as understanding that are usually learned through socialization. In his exploration, Gameau shows that culture covers food, religion, language, marriage, and dressing code, among others. The prevailing societal culture can determine how a person responds to specific foods. In various cultures, some foods attract high prices, whereas others are explicitly reserved for a particular function. By using logos, the director illustrates why a culture bent on consumerism leads to the overconsumption of sugary foods and drinks. Whereas a sugary diet is a cheap and convenient way to seek pleasure, it leads to adverse effects on a person’s wellbeing.
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By using pathos, ethos, and logos, Gameau constructs an insightful watching experience for the viewer since the film illuminates on the contentious issues. These issues involve the negative effect of sugar on people and how culture contributes to it. The director goes to great lengths to demonstrate the downside of sugar as he engages in a sugar-only diet that negatively affects his wellbeing. By doing so, he shows how society can change its cultural ideals to enable people to engage in healthier foods.
- Gameu, Damon. “That Sugar Film.” Vimeo, 2014, vimeo.com/277876062.
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