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  1. 1

    Tony McBride

    Don’t forget sugar’s impact on your teeth!

    The case to introduce a strategy to reduce the significantly greater intake of sugar (such as a sugary drinks tax) is much stronger than its impact on obesity. It is a factor in diabetes and also a major cause of dental caries and many members of the National Oral Health Alliance (NOHA) have publicly supported the tax proposal because of sugar’s very significant negative impact on people’s teeth, especially those of children and disadvantaged individuals or families (how easy is dental hygiene when you are homeless?).

    Critics of this proposal should note how ubiquitous sugary drinks have become. Excluding tobacco, what are the top-selling items each week at Australian supermarkets? Milks, breads perhaps? No, according to IRI-Aztec 2014 data on Australian grocery sales, the top seven sellers are all different versions of Coca Cola. Our diet has changed very dramatically in recent decades and it is having a major impact on our teeth, let alone anything else.

    NOHA has noted that poor oral health costs the community many hundreds of millions of dollars a year in dental fees and as taxpayers’ extra health costs. It obviously inflicts avoidable pain and discomfort for adults and children. But for children, in many cases for children as young as three years old, treating dental caries can require unnecessary general anaesthetics, along with the loss of teeth at a very early age.

    NOHA members supporting the call include the Australian Dental Association, Australian Dental & Oral Health Therapists Association, Australian Health Care Reform Alliance, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, Consumers Health Forum, Dental Hygienists’ Association of Australia and the Public Health Association of Australia

    Further media releases by members can be found at:

    http://www.ada.org.au/Dental-Professionals/Policies/National-Oral-Health/2-2-2-Diet-and-Nutrition/ADAPolicies_2-2-2_DietandNutrition_V1
    http://ahha.asn.au/sites/default/files/docs/policy-issue/ahha_position_statement_-_sugar_sweetened_beverage.pdf
    https://chf.org.au/media-releases/tax-sugary-drinks-hits-sweet-spot-our-health

    Reply
  2. 2

    Bruce Simmons

    Further related point is the dental erosion harm caused by sugary drinks. Sugary drinks are also quite acidic and so they have a doubly harmful effect on teeth.

    Was disappointing to see the Australian ODI team members each picking up a different coloured drink from a young man in a G labled orange T-SHIRT immediately following victory in their past two matches.

    Reply
  3. 3

    lesley barclay

    excellent issue
    thank you to everyone who contributed
    Lesley Barclay

    Reply

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