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Article: Volume 42 Number 6 Page 507 - July/August 2015

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  Dent Update 2015; 42: 507-512

Dental public health:  The Truth about Sugar

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Abstract: Sugars are used by the industry to enhance the attractiveness of foods and drinks. These added sugars, or ‘free sugars’, are not easily identified in food or drink labels. Certain manufactured foods and drinks with ‘safe’ names, such as dried fruit and fruit juice, still contain free sugars and can be confusing. Guidance states that daily consumption of free sugars should be less than 10% of total energy intake (no more than 5% in the UK). However, it is found that both tooth decay and obesity are associated with consumption of free sugars in large quantities and at inappropriate times.

Clinical relevance: When giving dietary advice to dental patients, it should be emphasized that free sugars hidden in certain foods and drinks are directly linked to tooth decay and obesity.

Author notes: C Albert Yeung, BDS, MMedSci, MPHe, MPhil, MFDS RCPS, DDPH RCS, FFDRCSI(DPH), FDS(DPH) RCPS, FFPH, FHEA, Consultant in Dental Public Health, Ashley Goodfellow, BSc(Hons), MPH, RNutr(Public Health), MFPH, Public Health Specialist and Louise Flanagan, BSc(Hons), MSc Public Health, PGDip Public Health, MFPH, Specialty Registrar in Public Health, NHS Lanarkshire, Kirklands, Fallside Road, Bothwell G71 8BB, UK.

Objective: To emphasize that free sugars hidden in certain foods and drinks are directly linked to tooth decay and obesity.

ADG