Sugar clampdown welcomed by dental leaders

PLANS to clamp down on the promotion of sugary foods have been welcomed by dental leaders.

The Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England (FDS) praised the government’s new obesity strategy which includes stricter rules around the promotion and sale of foods high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS).

Proposed measures include a ban on buy-one-get-one-free promotions and the placement of these foods in prominent locations, both online and in physical stores in England.

A recent IPSOS/Mori poll of 2,000 adults found 42 per cent said they were snacking on cakes, biscuits, confectionary and savoury snacks more often during lockdown.

Excessive sugar consumption has been highlighted as one of the main causes of tooth decay in children. The FDS has long campaigned on the issue, citing evidence that tooth decay is by far the leading cause of hospital admissions amongst five to nine year olds. In 2018-19 there were more than 25,700 such admissions in England.

In addition to restrictions on marketing and sales, the obesity strategy aims to ban the advertising of HFSS products on TV and online before 9pm. This would eventually be follow by a total ban on HFSS advertising online.

FDS dean Mr Matthew Garrett said: “It is fantastic to see these measures finally being implemented. What is proposed will help decaying teeth as well as expanding waistlines.

“Child obesity and tooth decay, both preventable, remain needlessly prevalent, and we welcome policies that look to put prevention front and centre.”

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