The British Dental Association has lent its support to a campaign, which was originally launched by Southwark Council in 2018. Fizz Free February is designed to encourage people to abstain from fizzy drinks throughout the month of February. The scheme is now part of NHS England’s Sugar Smart campaign.
Jane Avis, cabinet member for families, health and social care at Croydon Council, explained that giving up fizzy drinks was a simple way to reduce sugar intake and also cut spending. Giving up a daily bottle of soft drinks could save the average person more than £430 per year and dramatically decrease sugar intake. Many drinks contain more than the recommended daily intake in a single serving. Almost 80% of cans contain at least 6 teaspoons of sugar.
The British Dental Association is getting behind the campaign, which targets children and young adults, in a bid to stem rising rates of decay and encourage people to make positive lifestyle choices. Mick Armstrong, chair, said that prevention is key to reducing rates of decay. The effects of excessive sugar consumption are clear for dentists to see on a daily basis, and cutting out fizzy drinks could make a huge difference to standards of oral health moving forward. Fizzy drinks are laden with sugar, and they’re also acidic, meaning that they represent a double whammy in terms of enamel damage.
The Fizz Free February campaign has also been endorsed by health secretary, Matt Hancock, TV chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Labour MP, Tom Watson.
The idea behind the campaign is incredibly simple and it’s similar to Stoptober and Dry January. If people can cut out fizzy drinks for a period of time, there’s every chance that they will reduce their intake drastically in the future and, hopefully, make choices that are healthier and more nutritious.