Dentists call for new warning labels on sugar-laden products
Dental and medical professionals have called for new warning labels on sugar-laden products in a bid to crack down on rising rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes and dental decay. Experts have called for cigarette packet style warnings to be displayed on products that contain a lot of sugar.
Warning labels on cigarette boxes have been a legal requirement since 2008 and in the last nine years, the percentage of adults that smoke has reduced from 21 percent to 16 percent. Under new measures, sweet packets and chocolate bars could carry images of rotten teeth and overweight children. It is also believed that packaging could be emblazoned with messages such as ‘sugar can contribute to obesity and the need for fillings.’
The latest statistics show that a third of children between the ages of 2 and 15 are obese. In addition, 34,000 children under the age of 9 have had their teeth taken out under general anaesthetic in the last 2 years. Decay, a preventable disease, is the leading cause of hospital admission among children.
The policy is set to be discussed in further detail at the British Medical Association’s annual conference, which will take place in Bournemouth over the coming days. The calls have already been supported by the association’s North West Regional Council. Representatives from the council said that they were “dismayed” by statistics related to tooth decay and encouraged Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, to introduce new health warnings for products aimed at children.