Diet and Nutrition
The ADA works closely with lawmakers, public health leaders, and others to encourage consumers to maintain balanced, nutritious diets that contribute to sound oral health. This includes maintaining and, in some cases, enhancing parts of several federal nutrition and food assistance programs.
- Encouraging federal research agencies to develop the body of high-quality scientific literature examining how dietary patterns and nutritional status impact oral health, including the extent to which dental caries rates fluctuate with changes in total added sugar consumption, and over what time period(s).
- Ensuring government-supported nutrition education and food assistance programs (including breastfeeding promotion and support) have an oral health component.
- Developing consumer-friendly nutrition labels for packaged foods, with an emphasis on declaring added sugar(s) in relatable terms (e.g., grams, teaspoons, etc.).
- Improving the nutritional profile of foods and beverages marketed to children, including all direct and indirect advertising on school grounds (i.e., pouring rights contracts, providing free samples, posting signage, branding school equipment, sponsoring events, etc.).
- Expanding opportunities for dentists to learn more about the relationship between diet, nutrition, and oral health—including latest science-based nutrition recommendations and nutrition-related screening and counseling techniques.
- Requiring third-party payers to cover nutrition counseling in dental offices as an essential plan benefit.
The Association's priorities are based on the major policies and positions (PDF) (Members Only) adopted by the ADA House of Delegates. (ADA Members may also access the 2012 report (PDF) of the Council on Access, Prevention, and Interprofessional Relations ad hoc advisory committee on nutrition and oral health.)
Letters and Testimony
- November 16, 2015—Coalition letters urging the House (PDF) and Senate (PDF) to remove language from several Fiscal Year 2016 Appropriations bills that would prohibit federal agencies from drawing on a broad base of scientific literature when issuing Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations.
- September 28, 2015—Coalition letter (PDF) urging the House Committee on Appropriations to remove language from several Fiscal Year 2016 Appropriations bills that would prohibit federal agencies from drawing on a broad base of scientific literature when issuing Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations.
- August 25, 2015—Comments (PDF) on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) supplemental proposed rule to revise the nutrition information required on Nutrition Facts labels for packaged foods.
- August 18, 2015—Comments (PDF) on the National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) proposed research initiatives for fiscal year 2017.
- July 29, 2015—Letter (PDF) urging the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry to protect several nutrition education and food assistance programs when reauthorizing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA).
- July 29, 2015—Letter (PDF) urging the House Committee on Education and Workforce to protect several nutrition education and food assistance when reauthorizing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA).
- June 25, 2015—Letter (PDF) urging the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to support H.R. 1411, the Expanding Nutrition's Role in Curricula and Healthcare (ENRICH) Act.
- June 25, 2015—Comments (PDF) to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on the Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research National Nutrition Research Roadmap 2015-2020.
- May 8, 2015—Comments (PDF) to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.
- April 29, 2015—Testimony (PDF) urging a House Appropriations Committee panel to support funding for research on the relationship between diet, nutrition, and oral health.
- June 2, 2014—Letter (PDF) addressing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed rule updating the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels for conventional foods and dietary supplements.
- April 28, 2014—Letter (PDF) addressing implementation of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) rule governing the nutrition standards for all foods sold on school grounds.
- October 28, 2013—Letter (PDF) addressing the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) interim final rule governing the nutrition standards for all foods sold on school grounds.
- April 8, 2013—Letter (PDF) addressing the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) proposed nutrition standards for all foods sold on school campuses.
- September 13, 2012—Statement on the New York City mayor's proposal to ban the purchase of large-sized sugary beverages.
- July 23, 2012—Coalition letter (PDF) calling for the Surgeon General to detail the current knowledge about the relationship(s) between specific dietary practices and oral diseases.
Letters and Testimony reflect the Association's position(s) on specific bills, regulations, and other policy issues, and are based on the major policies and positions (PDF) (Members Only) adopted by the ADA House of Delegates.
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- Learn about legislative and regulatory issues that could affect dentists as practitioners, employers, and consumers.
TAKE ACTION by talking to your legislators.
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