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More action needed on marketing of sugary food and drink

31 October 2017

More action needed on marketing of sugary food and drink

The Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP(UK)) says further action is needed to tackle the nation’s sugar habit.

The Faculty is supporting Sugar Awareness Week (30th October – 3rd November 2017), organised by the Action on Sugar campaign group, which aims to build public pressure to persuade the government and the food and drink industry to implement stronger sugar reduction policies.

Action on Sugar also aims to raise public awareness of the adverse health effects of consuming too much sugar and the costs to the NHS of treating sugar-related illnesses. The campaign has produced two free, downloadable posters, highlighting the differing types and amounts of sugar in everyday foods and drinks.

Sugar Awareness Week runs from 30th October to 3rd November 2017, and the focus of the national campaign this year is on the large amounts of sugar available on price promotions. Local areas across the country are also running their own Sugar Awareness Week events.

Dr Mick Horton, Dean of FGDP(UK), says:

“This is an important campaign. Dentists and dental practice teams spend a lot of time educating patients about the importance of diet to oral health, but this can be quickly undone by the lure of discounts and adverts for sugary food and drinks. The average person in the UK eats three times the recommended maximum intake of sugar, and our bad habits start early. A quarter of primary school children, rising to a third in secondary school, have tooth decay, an almost entirely preventable disease, and action to further restrict marketing of high sugar items would help encourage people to make healthier choices.”

Jenny Rosborough, Registered Nutritionist and Campaign Manager at Action on Sugar says:

“We currently consume 2–3 times more free sugars than is recommended and the biggest source in the diets of children and teenagers are sugar-sweetened drinks. Excess consumption of free sugars (i.e. those that are found naturally in fruit juices, honey and syrups, plus sugars added to foods and drinks ) is associated with a greater risk of tooth decay and leads to increased energy intake (compared to other energy sources). What’s more, sugar-sweetened drinks are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Whilst we urge both the government and food manufacturers to act now, our message to dental practitioners is to help educate their patients about the impact of sugar consumption on their teeth.”

For more information on Sugar Awareness Week visit Action on Sugar online here.

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