Dental Experts Want Labels On Soft Drinks

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childteethFrom Your Health Journal…..”A great article recently out of Australia in the Border Mail written by Rachel Wells entitled Dental Experts Want Labels On Soft Drinks. Recently, this blog discussed what they were doing in the United States and Britain with regards to taxing sugared drinks, commonly known as ‘fat tax’ – in an effort to cut back obesity in children and adults. In New York City, the Mayor also wanted to reduce portion size of soft drinks in various locations throughout the city. Of course, like most things, the feedback has been mixed. Now, out of Australia, dental experts have called for all soft drinks to carry warning labels declaring the risk of tooth decay. Like most parts of the world, many children are consuming 3 or more soft drinks a day, which not only increases their waistline, but can cause possible tooth decay. Sadly, a good portion of a child’s calories is not from liquids. In fact some studies have shown that 20-40% of a child’s diet is from liquid – and in most cases, from liquid candy. So, what is the answer? Cutting out sugary drinks completely does not work, and sometimes makes children more anxious to drink more of it, but moderation is the key. Parents should set limits on liquid consumption of unhealthy drinks. Now the real question, will labeling of soft drinks have a positive impact on liquid consumption? Time will tell. Please visit the Border Mail web site (link provided below) to view the complete article.”

From the article…..

Australian dental experts have called for all soft drinks to carry warning labels declaring the risk of tooth decay.

The call, backed by new research from the University of Adelaide and supported by Australia’s peak dental bodies, comes after a new study revealed some Australian children were consuming three or more sugared drinks a day.

The study, published this month in the American Journal of Public Health, also found tooth decay and cavities were ”significantly associated with greater sugar-sweetened beverage consumption”.

It found 56 per cent of Australian children aged five to 16 consumed at last one sugared drink a day and that 13 per cent consumed three or more sugared drinks a day.

The number of decayed, missing and filled baby teeth was 46 per cent higher among children who consumed three or more sweet drinks a day, compared with children who did not consume any.

”Consistent evidence has shown that high acidity of many sweetened drinks, particularly soft drinks and sports drinks, can be a factor in dental erosion, as well as the sugar itself contributing to tooth decay,” says the lead author of the study, Dr Jason Armfield, from the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health at the University of Adelaide.

He said: ”If health authorities decide that warnings are needed for sweet drinks, the risk to dental health should be included.”

The calls were backed by the Australian Dental Association and the Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists’ Association. ”I think the profession as a whole would support any labelling that would highlight the risk of tooth decay from soft drinks and beverages that contain high sugar content and are acidic,” said ADA Victorian branch president Dr Gordon Burt.

”Certainly the message doesn’t seem to be disseminating through the population as much as we’d like it to now.”

The National Health and Medical Research Council is due to update its dietary guidelines in February. They are expected to include recommendations to ”limit intake of foods and drinks containing added sugars … In particular, limit sugar-sweetened drinks.” The guidelines currently advise consumers to ”moderate” intake.

To read the full article…..Click here