Dental charity calls for age-restricted fizzy drinks sales to prevent childhood decay

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A dental charity has called for age-restricted sales to be introduced on fizzy drinks. Representatives from the Dental Wellness Trust are supporting an age limit on sugary drinks in a bid to reduce rates of child obesity and dental decay.

The Dental Wellness Trust, an NGO, which focuses on promoting good oral hygiene in the developing world, claims that children under the age of twelve years old should be prohibited from buying fizzy drinks and supports a ban on the consumption of sugary drinks for children under 6.

The charity has welcomed the introduction of a sugar tax, which came into force on Friday 6th April, but believes that more needs to be done to reduce sugar consumption among children. Many of the most popular fizzy drinks contain far more than the recommended daily sugar intake for a child in a single serving. The charity has urged the government to be “bold and brave” and bring in policies, which are likely to have a dramatic impact on children’s health. In the UK, thousands of children are undergoing procedures to have teeth extracted under general anaesthetic every year, and recent statistics indicate that 1 in 5 children are now obese when they leave primary school.

The new levy applies to drinks that contain more than 6g of sugar per 100ml with a higher tax on drinks that have more than 8g per 100ml. A can of cola contains 9 cubes of sugar per 300ml, which is far more than the recommended intake of 5-6 cubes of sugar for young children. At present, milkshakes are exempt from the tax, but there is a suggestion that the levy will be extended to include a wider range of drinks.

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