My AP Concentration: The Bitter Truth About Sugar


Aadhya Ramineni ’19, Arts and Entertainment Editor

My AP concentration began as the study of a pernicious substance, which has become synonymous to happiness: Sugar. Despite its link to depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s and even cancer, sugar is added into 68% of foods and targeted towards children. Sugar is a drug that should be regulated, but it rests atop a $50 billion industry. In my concentration I aim to show what we are never shown in advertisements: the hidden but caustic side of sugar. In addition to using my art to expose this bitter truth about sugar, I’m also starting a P.E. and nutrition program for a public school in South India.

Through my concentration I want to reverse the portrayal of sugar in media which we are literally fed since birth. Sugar is eight times as addictive as cocaine, but we feed it to kids (image 5). Birthdays and celebrations call for sugar saturated foods (image 12). Why do we love what is killing us? Sugar makes us feel better about ourselves: it fills lonely hearts (image 7). I was inspired after interviewing young adult novelist, Jason Reynold’s for our school newspaper; He told me: “I love your generation, but you’re all cupcakes.” It’s true. We are soft, cupcakes, easily smashed and ruined (image 4). All the images are de-saturated to represent, as writer F. Scott Fitzgerald said of his novel The Great Gatsby, “the loss of those illusions that gave such color to the world that you don’t care whether things are true or false as long as they part-take of the magical glory.” Sugar allows us to live in a temporary illusion. We need to be strong and face reality. By image 12 there is barely any color or illusion left, only the sad truth of what sugar does: It traps people in delusion and endless reliance. We must free ourselves.