Following the unveiling of the Government’s long-anticipated Childhood Obesity Strategy, the UK’s leading dental payment plan provider, Denplan, has criticised the plan for overlooking oral health.
“The strategy shows small steps in the right direction but has ultimately been widely slammed by campaigners as being ‘weak’ and ‘watered down’,” says Henry Clover, Chief Dental Officer at Denplan. “Not only does the strategy omit the desired restriction on junk food advertising and multibuy promotions, it was also hugely disappointing to see that childhood tooth decay was only referenced once in the entire report. Although the strategy focuses on obesity, the knock-on effects of implementing tougher sugar restrictions on manufacturers and retailers could only have been positive for our children’s dental health too.”
The strategy fails in the eyes of many health experts, campaigners, and MPs to fully tackle the issue of unhealthy eating habits and does not impose tough enough restrictions on manufacturers and retailers.
Central to the Strategy is the Government’s ‘challenge’ to manufacturers and retailers to voluntarily reduce the sugar content of produce popular with children by 20 percent by 2020, with a five percent reduction in the first year. George Osborne’s already-announced sugar tax on soft drinks was also referenced in the plan, but the expected restrictions on junk food advertising during peak family TV shows and bans on supermarket cut-price promotions on unhealthy foods were ignored.
“It’s fair to say that the long-anticipated Childhood Obesity Strategy was expected to be a lot more robust,” says Henry. “Asking manufacturers and retailers to reduce sugar content on a voluntary basis may not achieve what is needed to both reduce childhood obesity and tooth decay. Far too many children experience tooth decay, and it remains the single most common reason for five to nine year olds in England to be admitted to hospital, with many of those children needing multiple tooth extractions under general anaesthetic.” 
Denplan is the UK’s leading dental payment plan specialist, with more than 6,500 member dentists nationwide caring for approximately 1.7 million registered patients. Established in 1986 by two dentists who pioneered the concept of dental payment plans, Denplan has been at the heart of dental care for nearly 30 years and today the company is owned by Simplyhealth. Denplan has a wide range of dental plans for adults and children, enabling patients to budget for their private dental care by spreading the cost through a fixed monthly fee. We support regular attendance and preventive care, reducing the need for clinical intervention and helping patients to maintain healthy teeth and gums for life.
Denplan also provides a range of professional services for its member dentists and their practice teams, including the Denplan Quality Programme, Denplan Excel Accreditation Programme and Denplan Training, plus regulatory advice, business and marketing consultancy services and networking opportunities.
For more information about Denplan:
Denplan Press Office
Tel: 01962 828 194