MPs back the sugar tax

Leading dental charity, the British Dental Health Foundation, has welcomed the recent announcement by the Commons Health Select Committee that ‘bold and urgent’ action is needed to tackle child health issues, with a sugar tax as a key measure.

Compelling evidence was presented to the committee that a sugar tax would protect children from two growing health problems – tooth decay and obesity.

The chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, commented on the news: “The introduction of the tax is a necessity, currently child tooth extractions due to sugar-related tooth decay are the single biggest reason for children being admitted to hospital for quick and decisive action and ministers have to pay attention.”

The announcement by MPs follow a review by Public Health England which was published a few weeks ago. Recommendations from the review included a reduction in sugar in processed foods, limits to in-store price promotions and a ten to twenty per cent tax on sugary drinks.

Sugar is evil

It’s not just a question of cutting out the sweets and chocolates; many processed foods contain surprisingly high levels of sugar. Shop-bought pasta sauces have between six and twelve grams of sugar per serving and even a slice of white or wholemeal bread can contain half a teaspoon of sugar. Parents might buy an energy or granola bar for their children, thinking they are making a healthy choice, but these ‘healthy’ snacks often contain as much sugar as a chocolate bar.

Bacteria is always present in the mouth and most are beneficial to oral health. However, harmful oral bacteria will feed on the sugar, creating acid that destroy tooth enamel. Over time cavities form and without treatment develop into full-blown tooth decay.

At CK Dental practice in Bristol, our team advise all our patients that, as well as being careful about the amount of sugar your children are consuming, a good oral hygiene routine is essential, but also regular dental check-ups are key. To book your check-up, give us a call on 0117 906 4872.