this is "nightline." tonight, sugar crush. are we a nation hooked on the white stuff? >> we think we love but it's not love. it's addiction. >> the controversial new movie that says this one ingredient is hidden everywhere and damaging lives. so tonight the challenge. could you go ten days sugar-free? plus, hollywood's new it girl, shailene woodley starring in what could be a teen summer blockbuster. "the fault in our stars." she's a red carpet regular with some interesting quirks. why does she eat clay? >> oh! >> and paul mccartney hospitalized. what is ailing the former beatle? the mystery bug that forced him to cancel an entire tour.
and it's in almost everything we eat. sugar. tonight the food industry is up in arms over a controversial new movie accusing big food of peddling unhealthy sugar-filled products, especially to our kids. and tonight this challenge. could you go sugar-free for ten days? is that even possible in i tried it. and the results were surprising. it is a controversial new entry into america's raging debate over obesity. >> what if our whole approach to this epidemic has been dead wrong? >> reporter: the new movie "fed up" says the country has gone way off course, blaming obese people including children for their weight problems. >> the message has been pushed on us, it's your fault you're fat. >> reporter: instead, according to the movie, the real problem is the food companies who load their products up with sugar, which critics call dangerous and addictive. >> sugar is poison.
diabetes. heart disease. lipid problems. strokes. cancer. those diseases are being driven by sugar. >> if a foreign nation were doing that to our children, we would defend our families. >> years from now we're going to say i can't believe we let them get away with that. >> reporter: according to the movie, most americans are hooked on sugar. and truth be told, i am one of them. cookies, cheesecake, jellybeans, they seduce me every time. >> okay. so i'll admit that i'm one of these kind of annoyingly healthy people. i work out every day. i eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. i don't smoke. i don't drink. i don't even drink caffeine. i have one major vice. and that is sugar. >> reporter: so you can imagine my discomfort when my colleague katie couric, who's the narrator and executive producer of "fed up," announced something called the "fed up challenge." ten days with no sugar. >> i'm going to start on monday. >> reporter: she then went on
"good morning america" and publicly roped me into it. >> and dan harris of "nightline" is going to be doing it with me. >> reporter: thank you for that, katie. so here are the rules of the challenge. no soda or sweetened beverages. that includes diet soda and juice. no artificial sugars or sugar substitutes. and no foods that have added sugar, which includes not only my favorite desserts but to my surprise everything from yogurt to canned foods to spaghetti sauce. >> okay. so it's the sunday night before katie couric's sugar-free death march, and i'm doing a last-minute binge. cookies. mm. i'll miss this. >> reporter: sure enough, the next day, day one of the challenge, i'm missing sugar already. >> everybody's having chocolate. and looks happy. and i'm having fruit. >> reporter: fruit, which has
natural sugar, is allowed under the rules of the challenge. >> i'm not cheating. i just want you to know this is unhappy face. >> reporter: my only consolation? katie is suffering too. >> i'm feeling a little listless and lethargic. i want a cookie. you know, i think i miss the sugar. i'm not going to lie. >> reporter: as soon as you decide to cut out sugar, you very quickly realize how hard it is to find any product that doesn't have sugar. >> i look at my super healthy bread to take a piece of toast this morning. and i was so bummed. look. one gram of sugar. ah! everything has added sugar. >> reporter: according to the movie, even if the label doesn't say sugar, don't be fooled. there are 256 different names for sugar. day 5, we bring dr. mark heimann, featured in the movie, to a supermarket.
>> you have to learn how to hunt and gather especially in a supermarket, and the best way to do that is to stick around the edges of the supermarket. so don't go down any of the aisles, where all the processes foods are. >> reporter: he says there are 600,000 food items in america and 80% have added sugar. >> it's very simple. if you read a label and it's an ingredient you can't pronounce, it's in latin or it's not a real food, put the food back on the shelf. is there a bar code on this? right? is there nutrition facts on this? >> reporter: it's a little bit more work than just buying a frozen dinner, but heimann says the trick to going sugar-free is cooking your own maelds. >> we ate ourselves into this by eating junk food and we have to cook our way out of this problem. >> reporter: so does this mean i can just bake lots of homemade cookies and cakes at home? apparently not. >> i love dessert. >> yes. >> you've take thaen away from me. >> oh. we think we love cookies, we love donuts, we love cake. but i've got news for you. it's not love. it's addiction. in animal studies they found that sugar's eight times as
addictive as cocaine. when they put rats on eating sugar in a little sugar bowl with little sugar and then they put them on an electric shock pad and they shock them while they keep eating the sugar, they keep eating the sugar while they're getting shok inting sho it feels that good. >> so i'm the rat in this -- >> you are. you're the rat. >> reporter: on day 7 my co-anchors on "weekend gma" are openly taunted. >> hands down the best thing i've ever had. >> you guys are really good friends. >> reporter: even if you happen to have nicer colleagues, we all live in an ecosystem of near constant temptation. bombarded by marketing messages. especially kids. on television and even in school. in the movie katie challenges former president bill clinton about why the government hasn't done more. >> do you think the government is behind when it comes to helping americans reduce their sugar intake? >> yes. i do. >> why? why are they doing that?
or why aren't they doing more? >> i can't answer that. >> reporter: as you might imagine, the food industry has not taken kindly to this movie. the grocery manufacturers association arguing that companies have aggressively reduced calories, that childhood obesity has actually gone down in recent years, and that the movie just plain gets the facts wrong. still, while critics may take issue with the movie's, quote, vilification of one nutrient, pretty much nobody argues that reducing sugar is a bad thing. >> day 9. and dietary freedom is so close i can almost taste it. i will admit that i am sleeping a lot better without all the sugar. but the cravings have not diminished one bit. in fact, on my way home from work i pass all of these tantalizing dessert places. >> i feel deprived. i felt very angry at katie. >> this morning, the day after the challenge ended, i went on "good morning america" with katie. >> are you going to stick with it? >> you know, i think i will
stick with it with a few calculated sugar binges. >> reporter: people had asked me did you cheat? the truth is i did find a box of swedish fish my wife had hidden away in the cabinet, and to my great shame i had two of them. but again, i only had two of them. now, we should say that grocery manufacturers association contacted us to say that "fed up" provides an inaccurate view of the packaged food industry and "our companies have been trusted by generations to provide products that are safe, nutritious, affordable, and well balanced." "fed up" is in theaters right now. and coming up next here on "nightline," shailene woodley, the star of what could be this summer's big teen blockbuster, "the fault in our stars." why does she make her own toothpaste?
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here's abc's chris connelly. >> reporter: "the fault in our stars" features rising star shailene woodley. as hazel grace lancaster. hazel has cancer. her 16-year-old body kept alive by an experimental drug regimen. >> doctor's appointments. worst of all, support group. ♪ away from her care-giving parents, hazel meets gus. >> hi. >> reporter: a chilled-out pixie dreamboat with his own cancer story to show and tell. >> i've been in remission for about a year and a half. >> maybe you'd like to share some of your feelings. >> oblivion. >> reporter: their post-adolescent ironic attachment quickly succumbs to the earnestness of young love. >> why are you looking at me like that? >> because you're beautiful. >> reporter: even as they are besieged by mortality. and the audience is besieged by the desperate need for a tissue. >> and i know that love is just a shout into the void and that
oblivion is inevitable. and i am -- >> reporter: "the fault in our stars" is based on john green's 2012 novel that sold 10 million copies and inspired devotion among its mostly young, mostly female readers. and now 22-year-old woodley was one of those readers. >> i didn't want to be like look how i can cry as an actor, look what i can do. i wanted to do this because this book changed my life. this movie is incredibly sad and intere incredibly heartbreaking but it's so celebratory. i mean, it celebrates life. >> we can't help but fall in love with her but also relate to her longing for love. >> you're trying to keep your distance from me in no way lessens my affection four. >> i'm a grenade. one day i'm going to blow up. >> reporter: before getting cast as her mother laura dern was also a believer. drawn in by how compelling she
was in the first person singular. >> in a city that's famous for vice and debauchery is totally fine for you? >> yeah, that's pretty much exactly what i'm saying. >> my only goal is how do i support a vision as impactful to me in a narration voice as when i first read "catcher in the rye." i think he captured the voice of a generation. >> we have a choice in this world in how to tell sad stories. on the one hand you can sugar coat it. say nothing is foo messed up that it can't be fixed with a peter gabriel song. >> that may sound like a dichlt ss of this famous scene from 1999's "say anything." ♪ in your eyes >> yet it's that same youthful authenticity that the fault in our stars seeks. >> i like that version just as much as the nice girl does. it's just not the truth. >> reporter: a film that dispenses with the wizards, the tributes, and the vampires through which teen romance has been depicted on screen in the
21st century. >> these are teenagers. yes, they do have cancer, but they're also going through normal things that normal teenagers are going through. >> give me a fake i.d. >> they go to clubs and take pot. >> i don't take pot. >> that is the kind of thing i would know with a fake i.d. >> born and raised in the l.a. area, woodley was just 16 herself when she was cast in the abc family series "the secret life of the american teenager." >> i have to call the cops, ricky. >> reporter: a string of successes followed. her big break in features starting with 2011's "the descendants," direct bid alexander payne, in which she played george clooney's daughter. >> i'm angry at her. >> when shay started making that movie, alexander payne called me going, you're not going to believe this, this girl, the way she uses her limbs reminds me of you. you guys are so alike. >> reporter: superb in the indy "the spectacular now." she then started her first franchise film "divergent." >> what do you look for in projects that enable you to keep choosing these interesting stories? >> anything that gives me
butterflies. when i read a script, i know immediately intuitively whether it's something i want to fight for. >> oh, my god. >> reporter: woodley chopped off her hair, apparently lost some weight, and seems to have savored the film's pittsburgh to amsterdam shoot. >> nobody was there to become that awful, quote unquote, word famous. everyone's there because they loved the book and they loved the story. >> what's so awful about wanting to be famous? >> i just don't really like that word. i think it's a strange word. >> reporter: on the red carpet she is a woodland sprite in couture, greeting(< with a warm hug. she says she draws her own spring water, makes her own toothpaste, eats clay. it's a way, way back to nature lifestyle spurred by her time in hawaii. >> oh! >> i was connected to nature for a long time. but being in hawaii, there's a different energy there. >> she's like miranda in "the tempest." you just hope the world is as kind to her as she is kind to it. >> and inevitably, it never is,
is it? but she's wise enough to seek out those who will match her. >> reporter: laura dern knows what it's like to survive as a young actress in the spotlight. >> i think the wildest time was the film "rambling rose" and the film "wild at heart." >> like a big secret you've been carrying. >> a couple of years where i was the siren or the very sexy femme fatale. >> reporter: dern would go on to "jurassic park." woodley's part was trimmed from "the amazing spider-man 2." apart from blockbusters they each began their career with work for director joyce chopra. >> i came out of the bathroom stall sxand i said -- that was . the director told me to hit the third white tile on the right. i come out of the stall and i don't hit the mark. i'm shuffling my feet over. and they used it in the movie. >> i was going to make my mark, and i did. >> reporter: 16 years later, thanks in large part to these
two actresses, this movie's emotional wallop should make its mark. and if some say this is shailene woodley's big year, she sees it a little differently. >> it's the year of the horse, man. year of freedom. year of strength, playing, get out there, have fun. last year was the year of the snake, shedding some stuff. but this year is fun. >> okay. >> reporter: i'm chris connelly for "nightline" in los angeles. >> she definitely looks like she's having fun. and "the fault in our stars" will be in movie theaters on june 6th. up next on "nightline," health scare. why paul mccartney, days after releasing this new music video for "appreciate," suddenly canceled many of his tour dates. ♪ appreciate you have time to shop for car insurance today? yeah. i heard about progressive's "name your price" tool? i guess you can tell them how much you want to pay and it gives you a range of options to choose from.
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seems to slow down. mccartney was expected to perform to sold-out crowds in japan, where he and his band premiered a new music video called "appreciate." ♪ appreciate but tonight he's recovering from a mystery bug, one that landed him in a hospital in tokyo. ♪ his last video for "queenie eye," featured some of the biggest stars in the world. ♪ the good news, mccartney is expected to make a full recovery, and his upcoming american concert dates are still on. >> you guessed it, the beatles. >> as you might remember, february marked the anniversary of the original boy band's arrival here, and mccartney plans to conclude his u.s. tour in san francisco's candlestick park, the same place that the beatles made their final official performance in america as the fab four. we are pulling for paul tonight. and before we go, we want to
make sure you watch "nightline prime" this weekend. here's a little sneak peek. >> saturday night, "nightline prime" is pushing the limits. >> are you crazy? >> in the air. on land. and by sea. >> turn around. turn around. >> why would anyone take risks like this? we're taking you to the edge to find out. on in t"nightline prime." >> it's a great show. we hope you join us saturday night at 10:00 p.m. thank you for watching "nightline" tonight. tune in to "gma" first thi