Dentists urge parents to check nutrition labels as ‘healthy’ snacks and drinks help to fuel decay epidemic
Dentists have urged parents to check food labels and nutritional information guidelines in a bid to crack down on rising rates of childhood decay.
Excessive sugar consumption is fuelling an epidemic of decay, which is resulting in thousands of young children ending up in hospital having teeth extracted under general anaesthetic The trouble is that while most of us know that sweets and chocolate bars are bad for the teeth, many ‘healthy’ snacks and drinks are flying under the radar.
If you take a packet of dried raisins, a shop-bought smoothie or a bottle of juice as an example, you may be shocked at the nutritional information you find if you look closely at the labels. It’s understandable to assume that you’re doing a good thing providing your children with dried fruit or a smoothie rather than a bag of sweets and a can of pop, but if you read the labels, you may actually find that the sugar content is very similar.
It can be very difficult to spot items that contain hidden sugar, especially those that are marketed as healthy alternatives, and dentists have urged parents to be vigilant. Foods like flavoured yoghurts can contain the same amount of sugar as a small chocolate bar, and even if you’re trying to be healthy, you may still find that your child’s daily sugar intake is higher than recommended. The advice from dentists is to read the labels, look for the green traffic light signals and try and make snacks and drinks like smoothies at home.