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Dental research associations prohibit sugary beverage companies in investment portfolio

January 16, 2019

Alexandria, Va. – The International Association for Dental Research and the American Association for Dental Research announced Jan. 15 the divestment of sugar-sweetened beverage companies from their investment portfolios, according to an IADR news release. 

While the two associations did not have direct investments in such companies, they changed investment managers who will screen out any holdings in the sector.

According to the news release, “The scientific evidence is clear that sugars are the most important dietary factor in the development of dental caries. Sugar-sweetened beverages are a major source of dietary sugars, lack nutritional value, and contribute not only to dental caries, but to unhealthy weight gain, obesity and increased risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Investing in companies that manufacture or distribute sugar-sweetened beverages or funds that have such holdings is inconsistent with the Missions of IADR and AADR, which are to advance research and increase knowledge for the improvement of oral health worldwide.”

"There is robust research that identifies free sugars as a major cause of dental caries and sugar-sweetened beverages are a major source of free sugars and are linked to a number of non-communicable diseases,” said AADR President Maria Emanuel Ryan in the release.

In the release, IADR President Rena D'Souza said, “The initiative to remove all investments in sugar-sweetened beverage companies matches IADR/AADR’s previous divestment of tobacco stocks and more clearly embodies our investment philosophy and health-based values.”

The IADR and AADR called on other health-related professional associations with investment portfolios to adopt similar policies regarding sugar-sweetened beverage companies. 

IADR is a nonprofit organization with over 11,400 individual members worldwide, dedicated to advancing research and increasing knowledge for the improvement of oral health worldwide, supporting and representing the oral health research community, and facilitating the communication and application of research findings. AADR is the largest Division of IADR with 3,300 members in the United States.