sugary drinks for a week and give your teeth a break, experts urge
Australians are being urged to do their
teeth and their bodies a favour by swapping sugary drinks for water for a week
from World Cavity Free Future Day tomorrow.
With an alarming 27 per cent of Australian
children aged 5-10 living with untreated tooth decay,1 the Rethink
Sugary Drink alliance is throwing its support behind the #ChooseWater
challenge, being driven by the Alliance for a Cavity Free Future, the
Australian Dental Association and Colgate.
Dr Hugo Sachs, President of the Australian Dental Association, a Rethink
Sugary Drink partner, said young Australians are among the biggest consumers of
sugary drinks, which are a leading contributor to tooth decay. Tooth decay is
the most common chronic disease of childhood and can significantly affect a
child's quality of life.
"Alarmingly, one in four Australian children
aged 5–10 have tooth decay that is not being treated. It's no coincidence that
children are also heavy consumers of sugary drinks," Dr Sachs said.
Latest figures show that in a typical week:
of children aged 6–13 drink fruit drink or juice
in five consume soft drinks, and
one in three drink cordial or frozen drinks, such as Slurpees.2
consumption of free sugars is the most significant behavioural risk factor for
tooth decay, if Australians can take steps to cut back on sugary drinks, such
as taking up the #ChooseWater challenge for a week, then their teeth will be
much stronger and healthier for it." said Dr Sachs.
As well as being dangerous for our teeth,
the high levels of sugar in sugary drinks can lead to weight gain and
overweight and obesity, increasing the risk of serious health problems such as
type 2 diabetes, heart and kidney disease, stroke and cancer.
Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the
Obesity Policy Coalition, also a Rethink Sugary Drink partner, said sugary
drinks have no place in a healthy diet.
"A regular 600mL bottle of soft drink
contains around 16 teaspoons of sugar – that's around 1.5 times the maximum recommended
intake of added sugar in a day," Ms Martin said.
"The 18 groups behind Rethink Sugary Drink
want to see a raft of policy measures implemented, from a sugary drinks health
levy to an education campaign, to help reduce the impact of sugary drinks for
all Australians young and old."
Sugary Drink recommends the following actions to tackle sugary drink
public education campaign supported by Australian governments to highlight the
health impacts of regular sugary drink consumption
by Australian governments to reduce children's exposure to marketing of
sugar-sweetened beverages, including through schools and children's sports,
events and activities
mandatory restrictions by state governments on the sale of sugar-sweetened
beverages (and increased availability of free water) in schools, government
institutions, children's sports and places frequented by children
of policies by state and local governments to reduce the availability of
sugar-sweetened beverages in workplaces, government institutions, health care
settings, sport and recreation facilities and other public places.
Australians are being urged to share their
commitment to choosing water by using the #ChooseWater hashtag on social media.
About Rethink Sugary Drink: Rethink Sugary Drink is a partnership
between the Apunipima Cape York Health Council, Australian Dental Association, Australian
Dental and Oral Health Therapists' Association, Cancer Council Australia,
Dental Health Services Victoria, Dental Hygienists Association of Australia,
Diabetes Australia, Healthier Workplace WA, Kidney Health Australia, LiveLighter,
The Mai Wiru Sugar Challenge Foundation, Nutrition Australia, Obesity Policy
Coalition, Stroke Foundation, Parents' Voice, the Victorian Aboriginal
Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) and the YMCA to raise
awareness of the amount of sugar in sugar-sweetened beverages and encourage
Australians to reduce their consumption. Visit www.rethinksugarydrink.org.au for more information.
1. 27% of children aged
5–10 years had untreated tooth decay, National Child Oral Health
2. Roy Morgan Young
Australians Survey, July 2015-June
2016, n=2,876 Australian children 6-13 http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/7101-sweet-drinks-much-more-popular-with-kids-than-older-aussies-201701031624
Shannon Crane – for interview
requests for Jane Martin, Obesity Policy Coalition
M: 0432157270 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eithne Irving – for interview
requests for Dr Hugo Sachs, Australian Dental Association
M: 0419 550 186 E: Eithne.Irving@ada.org.au