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.
The ADA is calling on policy makers to:
- Support high-level research on associations between diet, nutrition, and oral health, with an emphasis on determining whether and how dental caries rates fluctuate based on the volume of added sugar(s), sweeteners, and artificial sweeteners consumed.
- Require federal nutrition education programs to have an oral health component, with an emphasis on brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, limiting consumption of sugary snacks and beverages, and seeing the dentist as recommended.
- Require federal food assistance programs to include mouth healthy standards that are both practical and based on high-level science, with an emphasis on improving the quality of foods sold in schools.
- Leverage regulatory opportunities help consumers monitor their consumption of natural and added sugar(s), low pH-level acid(s), processed starches, and other food ingredients that can increase the risk for dental caries.
- Carefully monitor how sugary foods and beverages are marketed to children and young adults.
The Association's priorities are based on the major policies and positions (PDF) 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
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) adopted by the ADA House of Delegates.
- 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) on the Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research National Nutrition Research Roadmap 2015-2020.
- May 8, 2015—Comments (PDF) on the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. (See related ADA News article.)
- 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. (See related ADA News article.)
- 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.
- December 18, 2012—Coalition letter (PDF) urging the House Committee on Agriculture to defend the SNAP-Ed program during floor debate over H.R. 6083, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2012.
- 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.
Dental Society Resources
The ADA Department of State Government Affairs (DSGA) offers resources to help state and local dental societies benefit from the best practices and lessons learned in other states and
For additional information or to request assistance, please contact the DSGA at 312.440.2525 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
STAY INFORMED about the latest legislative and regulatory happenings.
- Subscribe to the monthly e-publication, Government and Public Affairs Update.
- Access the State Legislative Report (members only).
- Subscribe to the RSS feed for ADA News Today.
- 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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