Make a meal of it, new BDA campaign urges

Make a meal of it, new BDA campaign urges
Dental professionals across the UK are being urged to get involved in a new British Dental Association (BDA) campaign to reduce the harm done to children’s oral health by taking sugary and acidic food and drink outside regular mealtimes. The ‘Make a meal of it’ campaign proposes restrictions on the availability and advertising of such products. The BDA is also supporting a specific tax on sugary, carbonated drinks.

The campaign seeks to encourage:

  • supermarkets to restrict the availability of unhealthy foods at checkouts,
  • cinemas to downsize their unhealthy food and drink offerings,
  • schools and hospitals to withdraw unhealthy food and drink from vending machines.

The BDA is urging the dental profession to pinpoint local examples of outlets that are putting profits before health and help to challenge them. It is also seeking support for a Government e-petition it has launched which calls for a more rigorous approach to tackling the problem.

Professor Damien Walmsley, Scientific Adviser to the British Dental Association, said: “Despite a steady improvement to oral health in recent years an unacceptable number of children in the UK still suffer with tooth decay, which we must remember is an entirely preventable condition. The average figures for the prevalence of decayed, missing and filled teeth mask some disturbing pockets of very poor oral health. Regrettably, some retailers insist on putting profits before health, disregarding the potential ill effects of their products and dangling temptation in front of children. A more responsible approach must be adopted by such organisations to help address the poor oral health that dentists see in communities across the UK. I urge all members of the dental community to get behind this campaign.”

Further details of the campaign and how to participate are available at: www.bda.org/makeamealofit

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