A New York Times article has set the ball rolling on a major backlash against Coca-Cola after they revealed that the soft drinks company was funding health research. This research concluded that physical activity is the biggest predictor of childhood obesity around the world and downplayed the impact of a sugar-laden diet.
Fiona Sandom, President of the British Association of Dental Therapists, has highlighted that the ensuing debate caused by these claims has centred on obesity and has overlooked the devastating impact that sugary food and drinks have on oral health, also.
She said: “Up until now, there has been overwhelming scientific evidence that sugary drinks are linked to poor health and there now sits a question mark over this latest study that was funded by Coca-Cola.
“More importantly, however, the evidence regarding sugary drinks and their link to tooth decay is universal and this in itself can be a precursor to other serious health issues – and there is much research that shows how periodontal disease and systemic health are closely linked.
“This new study could easily cloud patients’ judgement when they consider the health risks of their soft drink consumption. As dental professionals, we must not allow it to encourage complacency within a UK population that needs to embrace a balanced diet and good oral hygiene habits in order to help prevent disease and promote a healthy lifestyle.
“We should remind patients of the dangers of high sugar consumption, especially when ‘hidden’ in fizzy drinks, and educate them in how these can also lead to tooth erosion through constant “acid attacks”.”