‘Water at school’ campaign will aid oral health

The Natural Hydration Council has developed a downloadable factsheet entitled Hydration for Children – Back to School which explains the importance of adequate hydration for children.
They Council is recommending better access to water for schoolchildren both from a health perspective and from an educational perspective in terms of maximizing cognitive performance in the classroom.
Recent research shows that schoolchildren who drank extra water performed better in visual attention tasks compared to a control group who followed their normal drinking habits.
Add these findings to the results of a review of 30 different studies – which concluded that consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks appeared to be associated with greater weight gain and obesity, particularly among adolescents – and it’s easy to see how important it is to encourage children and their parents to choose water over the sugar-sweetened calorie-containing alternatives.
This applies especially during their early years when lifelong habits are being formed.
Dr Emma Derbyshire, PhD RNutr, consultant to the Natural Hydration Council, says: ‘As water contains no sugar, calories, additives or acids, there are multiple reasons why we all ought to drink more of it, and to encourage our children to do so. These are fully explained in Back to School – Hydration for Children, which is available at http://www.naturalhydrationcouncil.org.uk/Article/Display/77 .’
Dental facts cited include:
•  Most dentists say children have their first filling under 5 years old
• 56% name sugary drinks as main cause of children’s tooth decay
• 40% believe children’s teeth are less healthy than five years ago
Almost half of UK dentists believe there is a correlation between children being overweight and having above average tooth decay, and a similar proportion name sugary drinks as the main cause of a child’s dental caries, according to a survey of dentists commissioned by the Natural Hydration Council (NHC) in partnership with the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF).
While not claiming a causal link between obesity and dental health, these survey findings follow the publication of a series of academic papers that have studied the issue and indicate that further study could be merited.
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation said: ‘We are asking everyone to recognise that you should cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks. Fizzy drinks can increase the risk of dental problems. Try alternatives like milk and water.’
Natural Hydration Council communications director, Ian Hall, says: ‘The message is clear; you ought to drink more water. It contains zero sugar, calories, preservatives or additives. The factors that influence dental health and weight management are no doubt complex and further research into the topic could help clarify the position.’

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