Sugar Rush! The shocking dangers lurking in children’s food and drinks

Clinical Managers Rebecca Swalwell and Kaylee Swift

Clinical Managers Rebecca Swalwell and Kaylee Swift

At Balsall Common Dental Practice we love getting out into the community on the education trail, extolling the benefits of healthy teeth and warning about the shocking sugar levels hidden in food and drinks marketed to children.

School talks and ‘Meet the Parents’ events are a great way to do this and we really enjoy this part of our job! Kaylee and I were delighted to be invited back to Meriden Primary School to speak to some of the new parents on 17th September 2015.

As is often the case, everyone was shocked at how much sugar lurks in food and drinks marketed as healthy alternatives, particularly the revelation that a bottle of flavoured water contained 9 cubes of sugar, more than a can of coke!

Becky and Kaylee 'Meet the Parents'

Becky and Kaylee ‘Meet the Parents’

Given the sugary hazards lurking around every corner we perhaps shouldn’t be surprised to learn that 27% of British children under 5 years of age have tooth decay, with an average of 3-4 decayed teeth each. According to Change4Life*, a 4-6 year old child should have no more than 5 cubes of sugar per day, leading to 7 cubes for 11 years and over.

Tooth decay is only a part of the issue. Excessive sugar consumption can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

For some handy hints on how to manage sugar consumption you can download Change4Life’s sugar swaps leaflet, on swapping sugary foods and drinks for healthier choices:

http://www.nhs.uk/change4life/Pages/sugar-swap-ideas.aspx

For us it’s great to see Jamie Oliver using his celebrity status to pour focus on this issue. His ‘Sugar Rush’ show on Channel 4 did a great job lifting the lid on the issues sugary foods and drinks can cause and at Balsall Common Dental Practice we applaud Jamie’s aims to tackle Britain’s escalating diabetes crisis.

An illustration of how much sugar lurks in every day food and drinks

An illustration of how much sugar lurks in every day food and drinks

Within the practice we have always had the philosophy that prevention is better than cure, educating parents and children is key to helping the next generation. As well as education, we offer a fluoride varnish application as standard with Children’s examinations. Our approach has dramatically reduced the amount of decay we see in our regular patients!

We currently have an offer of 6 months free membership of our Children’s Plan for new patients. Click here to download a voucher

 

Rebecca Swalwell
Clinical Manager, Balsall Common Dental Practice

*Source: Change4Life Sugar Swaps

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