DENTISTS across the town are supporting Jamie Oliver’s call to action on children’s high sugar intake but fear the detrimental effect on the youngster’s teeth is being over looked in the cause.
The food icon and healthy eating campaigner has appeared in the media in the last week after he urged MP’s to consider a ‘fizzy drink’ tax because of the impact high sugar has on children. Issues such as obesity and type 2 diabetes were raised but the British Dental Association (BDA) is asking; what about teeth?
The BDA’s advisor, professor Damien Walmsley, has warned residents consuming sugary foods and drink is the leading cause of tooth decay.
He said: “Dentists see children as young as two years of age with tooth decay which is distressing for all concerned – it’s important that carers and parents are aware that allowing toddlers to sip on sugary drinks in bottles for long periods of time, or throughout the night, is very damaging to teeth.”
Jamie has asked Parliament to put a 22 per cent drink tax per litre, 7p per can of ‘fizzy’ on average, and to make it compulsory for manufacturers to put the levels of sugar inside each product in teaspoons on the packaging.
In his speech the TV Chef asked David Cameron to be ‘brave’ and not be swayed by the businesses this would hit.
Figures from BDA’s research show 46,500 young people under 19 were admitted to have teeth removed under general anaesthetic in the last year
Mick Armstrong, Chair of the British Dental Association, said: “The government now has the evidence and a clear duty to send the strongest possible signal to the food industry, that while added sugar might be helping their sales, it is hurting their customers.
“By halving recommended sugar intake we could start bringing down the multi-million pound bill we all pay for expanding waistlines and sick mouths.
“If David Cameron wants to give some meaning to his pledges on prevention he can start today, by finally acknowledging the huge burden sugar is placing on the NHS.”