Scottish Dentists Back Calls to Curb Nation’s Sweet Tooth

The British Dental Association (BDA) has welcomed today’s reminder by Food Standards Scotland of the urgent need to curb our addiction to sugar, which accounts for nearly a third of primary 1 children having tooth decay.

The food body’s publication “The Scottish Diet: It needs to change” highlights the health risks of consuming too many calorific foods with little or no nutritional value. It also notes that nearly a quarter of the nation’s sugar intake comes from sugary drinks and 50 per cent from unhealthy foods that are heavily promoted in supermarkets.

The BDA has led calls for radical action to reduce the nation’s sugar intake, with measures ranging from lowering the recommended daily allowance and reformulating convenience foods, through to action on marketing, labelling and sales taxes.

Colwyn Jones, consultant in dental public health and member of the British Dental Association’s Scottish Council, said:

“Scotland, like the rest of Britain, is addicted to sugar, and we are all paying the price. Tooth decay is the leading cause of hospital admissions among young children. The BDA believes the government has a clear duty to send the strongest possible signal to retailers and the food industry in general, that while added sugar might be helping their sales, it is hurting their customers.

“The new report provides us with yet another reminder of how our diets are making us ill and how consuming sugary and high-fat foods has become the norm rather than an occasional treat. The urge to resist change may be strong, but solutions can be found when consumers, the food and drink industry, media and government all work together.”