The British Dental Association has welcomed news that Ministers appear set on a more ambitious follow up to the government’s landmark Obesity Strategy, pledging sweeping action on junk food marketing.
New advertising restrictions could now be introduced to stop foods high in sugar being targeted at children, including a potential 9pm watershed on adverts for the unhealthiest products. The BDA has long advocated changes to end aggressive marketing of high sugar products to children on TV, in store and online. It has also backed support for a wholesale ban on sale of energy drinks to under-16s.
Dentist leaders have expressed regret that closely related issues on tooth decay have struggled for prominence. They have renewed calls for a dedicated and properly funded strategy to address children’s oral health. The government will be consulting on full details of the plan later in the year. The BDA will be responding on behalf of the profession.
BDA Chair Mick Armstrong said:
"After a watered-down obesity strategy, we're pleased ministers have offered a more substantial second course. Progress is tribute to unrelenting pressure from both campaigners and health professionals.
"Action on the marketing and sale of high sugar products are necessary steps to address the major health challenges this country now faces. Sadly given we know about the agents fuelling these conditions, and common challenges we face tackling deep health inequalities, it's a missed opportunity that government hasn't quite joined the dots on obesity and tooth decay.
"There is a lot of talk about putting the mouth back in the body. When tooth decay is the number one reason for child hospital admissions, it needs to be more than a PS in someone else's strategy."