Ignoring Public Health England report on sugar reduction would be reckless

The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) fully support the new recommendations on sugar published by Public Health England (PHE) and believe ignoring them will lead to thousands more children needlessly suffering from poor oral health.

The eagerly anticipated, evidence based, report from PHE1, recognised the need for high level intervention on sugar and identified a number of key areas for action, including; banning price promotions and the introduction of a 10-20% tax on sugary soft drinks.

Michaela ONeill, President of the BSDHT, responded to the report: “This report confirms what we have known for a long time; we need to act now on our nation’s addiction to sugar and stop children suffering from potentially painful and distressing oral health problems.

“Shockingly, a recent study found half of eight year olds have visible signs of decay on their teeth and a third of children are starting school with visible signs of tooth decay.

“Children’s tooth extractions cost the NHS around £30 million per year with the key cause being tooth decay.

“The BSDHT and our members have long campaigned for action on sugar and these recommendations need to seriously reviewed and acted upon; the evidence is all there and ignoring them would simply be reckless.

“The BSDHT continue to strive to improve children’s oral health though education within dental practices and schools with our First Smiles initiative. But the government needs to act on this report and support the dental industry if we are to really help future generations of children benefit from healthier diets and also allow parents to understand how destructive too much sugar can be to their oral health.”

Editors Notes

1. Public Health England, Sugar reduction: from evidence to into action - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sugar-reduction-from-evidence-into-action




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The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) is a nationally recognised body that represents over 4,000 Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists across the UK and beyond.

BSDHT maintain an on-going dialogue with the General Dental Council (GDC), the Departments of Health and all of the main groups representing dental care professionals, and attends meetings of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Dentistry, bringing dental hygiene and therapy to the attention of government ministers and MP’s.

Visit www.bsdht.org.uk for more information.

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