British Dental Health Foundation calls for stricter measures to control children’s diets

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The British Dental Health Foundation has called for stricter measures to help control children’s eating habits and prevent childhood illnesses such as tooth decay, gum disease and child obesity.

Recently, a research study has revealed shocking statistics relating to children’s eating habits and oral hygiene routines, with many parents failing to control their children’s diets and struggling to cope with their children’s behaviour when they don’t give them the foods they ask for. The report suggested that modern parents face the challenge of a “sweetie culture”, where children are constantly surrounded by sweet treats and are consequently demanding them on a regular basis. In previous generations, children considered sweets to be a weekly treat as a reward for good behaviour or doing well at school. Now, sweets form an integral part of a large proportion of children’s daily diets and this is undoubtedly contributing to oral health problems, as well as serious health conditions such as obesity.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation agreed that parents face an increasingly challenging role, with so many sweet, sugary foods on offer to their children. He went on to say that the evidence of the link between poor diet and poor oral health was clear for all to see and was disappointed to see that oral health amongst young people is on the decline, despite the hard work, investment and time spent on educating young people about the importance of good health.

Dr Carter said that more support needed to be given to parents that are struggling but ultimately parents needed to be stricter with their children; starting to introduce sweets and chocolate as a treat from an early age will help children to learn that sweets are not part of their daily diet. Teaching children about healthy eating and getting them involved in cooking and preparing healthy food from an early age will encourage them to take an interest in what they eat and they will begin to learn about the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. 



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