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FDS welcomes plans to tackle sugar consumption as part of obesity strategy

27 Jul 2020

The Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England (FDS) today welcomes the announcement by the Government of a new obesity strategy.

This announcement is an important step forward, and includes measures that the Faculty has long been calling for to tackle poor oral health. Deals like ‘buy one get one free' on unhealthy food high in salt, sugar and fat (HFSS) in England are to end, and the proposals include a 9pm watershed on HFSS adverts on TV and online to be brought in by end of 2022.  The government will consult on a total ban for HFSS products online.

Over the weekend, a new Public Health England report revealed evidence from an IPSOS/Mori consumer tracker of 2,000 adults that showed 42% saying they were snacking on cakes, biscuits, confectionery and savoury snacks more often during lockdown.

Excessive sugar consumption is one of the main reasons that children experience tooth decay, and its reduction goes hand-in-hand with plans to tackle obesity. This is an issue that the FDS has campaigned on extensively in recent years, as tooth decay is the leading cause of hospital admissions amongst five to nine year olds by some distance: there were 25,702 such admissions in 2018-19.

The strategy contains a raft of policies that have been waiting to be acted on for at least five years since Public Health England first drew up “Sugar Reduction: the Evidence for Action” in 2015.

Commenting on the announcement, Mr Matthew Garrett, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgeons at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said:

“It is fantastic to see these measures finally being implemented, and not before time. What is proposed will help decaying teeth as well as expanding waistlines.

“Child obesity and tooth decay, both preventable, remain needlessly prevalent, and we welcome policies that look to put prevention front and centre.”

“The FDS has long called for many of these measures, just last week urging the Prime Minister to put a limit on advertising and marketing of less healthy food across all media platforms, and we are delighted that this has been included.”

Notes to editors

The Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England is committed to enabling dentists and specialists to provide patients with the highest possible standards of practice and care.

For more information, please contact the RCS Press Office:

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