Shops Could be Forced to Remove Sweets from Checkout Following Dental Report
Shops in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham could be asked to remove sweets from the checkouts, after a report revealed that half of children under five living in the borough have tooth decay.
A report by Hammersmith and Fulham showed that rates of tooth decay were much higher than the London average, which currently stands at around 33 percent. The report was commissioned after it was revealed that child admissions to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital cost the NHS around £350,000 last year alone.
A task force was set up to identify problems and find solutions and the results of the report were presented to Hammersmith and Fulham Council. The council has since agreed to set aside a budget of £89,000 to help raise awareness of the importance of oral health and members have also promised to investigate water fluoridation.
The issue of adding fluoride to the water supply is set to be debated at a council meeting in the near future and this could lead to a public consultation when members of the public will be able to air their views. Other cities have already decided to add fluoride to the water systems and in Birmingham rates of decay have been reduced by 40 percent since fluoride was added.
The council has also agreed to ask supermarkets and shops to remove sweets from counters and checkouts to discourage people from adding them to their trolleys at the last minute. Eating sugary foods is a major contributor to decay among children and children are eating more sweets and chocolate bars than ever before. Schools will also be asked to do more to promote oral health by educating children about healthy eating and carrying out dental inspections.
Inner North West London NHS trust will also introduce initiatives, including fluoride varnish schemes, to help improve standards of oral health.
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