Dental therapists pledge support for ‘anti-sugar’ campaign

The BADT has pledged its support of the anti-sugar campaign

The BADT has pledged its support of an anti-sugar campaign from Action on Sugar.

The British Association of Dental Therapists (BADT) believes that health professionals need to have a joined-up approach in tackling dental decay and related health issues caused by a high sugar diet.

‘There is a real appetite for change over the unnecessary and unhealthy amount of sugar in our diets and it is up to all health professionals to ensure we educate our patients of the full health benefits of cutting sugar out of diets,’ BADT president, Fiona Sandom said.

‘Dental therapists are well placed to offer guidance from an oral health perspective but, in doing so, can also help to reverse this alarming obesity and diabetes epidemic that threatens the wellbeing of a nation hooked on sugar.’

Inequalities in dental health

Action on Sugar has made an unprecedented call to tackle and reverse the obesity and diabetes epidemic.

Earlier this year, figures from the latest Children’s Dental Health Survey revealed huge inequalities in the dental health of children.

At the time of the release, Public Health England’s director of dental public health, Dr Sandra White, said the survey highlighted ‘the need to urgently reduce the amount of sugary snacks and drinks in our children’s diets’.

The British Dental Association (BDA) has claimed Brits eat around 700g of sugar a week: that’s an average of 140 teaspoons per person.

A study published in September 2014 said that this global recommended sugar intake should be halved to combat dental cavities – and taken even further down to an ideal target of 3%.

In March, a new World Health Organization (WHO) guideline recommended adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake.

‘Tooth decay is one of the most widespread health problems and it is thought around a third of UK children aged 12 have visible tooth decay,’ Kawther Hashem, researcher and nutritionist of Action on Sugar, said.

‘Added sugar has found its way into almost all food, and the use of sugar as a means to calm, entertain, or reward children has become normalised, whereas sugar should be an occasional treat.

‘The Government must stop acting in the best interests of the food and drink industry rather than individuals, and take action on sugar now.’

Sugar tax

George Freeman, life science minister, became the first minister to back a sugar tax last week.

He warned food companies of penalties should they continue to produce food that could lead to unhealthy lifestyles.

Tesco also became the first supermarket chain to commit to reducing sugar across its entire sugary soft drinks range.

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