A dentist from Swansea has called for the Christmas Coca Cola truck to be banned from the city in a bid to clamp down on dental decay. Karl Bishop has spoken out after health officials in Liverpool urged a planned visit to be cancelled to try and discourage people from indulging at Christmas.
Karl, clinical director for dentistry at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, said that promoting the consumption of fizzy drinks, which are crammed full of sugar, is not a positive message for children and adults in the city. Swansea has high rates of childhood decay and health experts are also worried about rising rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The truck has been visiting towns and cities over the festive period for the last five years and this year it is due to stop off in Swansea on the 16th November.
The latest figures show that around 3,800 children had their teeth extracted under general anaesthetic in South West Wales in 2016/2017.
Mr Bishop is not the only person fighting for the tour to be called off and health officials in Liverpool have been campaigning against the visit for weeks. The Swansea dentist said that the decision to welcome the truck to the city is “really disappointing” and urged people to consider the impact of consuming fizzy drinks. Rates of decay among children are sky high, and fizzy drinks are one of the main issues dentists are trying to tackle.
A representative for Coca Cola said that children under the age of 12 will not be provided with samples unless they have parental permission.