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ADA supports sugary beverage study

Washington—The ADA thanked U.S. senators calling for a Surgeon General’s study of sugary beverage impact on public health and applauded New York City’s mayor “for shining a spotlight” on the issue.

“Dentists and other oral health professionals are concerned about the record numbers of sugar-sweetened beverages (a.k.a. ‘soft drinks’ and/or soda pop) being consumed by America’s youth,” the ADA said in letters thanking Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) for their Sept. 12 request.

“Preliminary data suggest that frequent consumption of these beverages can lead to enamel erosion and tooth decay,” the ADA said. “The data are limited, however, and the gaps leave many questions about the extent to which these beverages singularly cause or contribute to tooth decay.”

The Association and 15 other dental organizations asked the Department of Health and Human Services to commission a similar report that “at a minimum evaluates scientific literature on the extent to which sugar-sweetened beverage consumption affects oral health.”

The three senators asked U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, M.D., to “study the impact sugary beverages have on obesity and public health in the United States and how policies regarding sugary beverages might affect the obesity epidemic.”

The Association also applauded Mayor Michael Bloomberg for “shining a spotlight on the issue of frequent and excessive consumption of soda and other sugary beverages, which raises the risk of adverse health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.

“When it comes to a ban related to a particular food or beverage, is a stick rather than a carrot approach the best way to get people to adopt healthier diets? Perhaps not, but the attention alone that the mayor’s ban has generated on this issue is certainly a huge step in the right direction,” said the Association statement.

For more information, visit www.MouthHealthy.org.