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​BDA supports call for coordinated action on obesity and tooth decay

The British Dental Association (BDA) supports the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry's (BSPD) call this week for a coordinated offensive to tackle both obesity and dental decay in children and young people under 16.

In a new position paper published this week, the BSPD advocates clearer food labelling, close liaison with dieticians, and a coordinated and multi-agency approach to the management of obesity and dental decay.

The BSPD highlights the strong links between obesity in young people, tooth decay in permanent teeth, and deprivation. It also draws attention to the findings from the most recent (2013/14) National Child Measurement Programme which shows that a third of 11-year-olds are overweight or obese.

The BSPD supports national healthy eating campaigns such as the Change4Life Sugar swaps, and endorses the BDA's Make a Meal of It campaign, which also calls for clearer food labelling, and a specific tax on sugary, carbonated drinks.

Professor Damien Walmsley, Scientific Adviser to the British Dental Association, said:

"Given the alarming extent of obesity in young people and the profound implications it has for their health, as well as the long-term sustainability of NHS, it is easy to overlook the dental consequences of over-consumption of high-sugar foods and drinks.

"The Society's contribution to this debate is therefore a welcome reminder of the inherent connection between childhood obesity and poor dental health, both of which are dietary-related and preventable."

About the BDA

The British Dental Association (BDA) is the professional association and trade union for dentists in the UK. It represents dentists working in general practice, in community and hospital settings, in academia and research, and in the armed forces, and includes dental students. The BDA promotes members’ interests, advances the science, arts and ethics of dentistry, and contributes towards improving the nation's oral health.

For further information, please contact the BDA's media team on 0207 563 4145/46 or visit the BDA's news centre. You can also follow news from the BDA on Twitter. Membership packages reflect the varied needs of dentists.