Sugar is the UK’s main dietary pitfall when it comes to dental health. Most people are acutely aware of the fact that the substance is one of the leading causes of tooth decay, but still consume it regularly. One of the most common pieces of advice given out by dentists is to cut down on sugar consumption, but can the UK manage that?
According to a recent survey from the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF), it would take quite a bit of work to do so. The UK’s rate of sugar consumption is surprisingly high, and it might take a lot of effort to bring it down.
Overall, 27 per cent of Britons admitted to eating high-sugar snacks more than twice a day, according to the poll of more than 2,000 people. The survey also looked at the country’s regional habits, revealing that London is the area with the worst sugar habits.
A total of 20 per cent of people residing in the capital said they ate sugary snacks more than three times a day. This figure was much lower in other areas of the UK. The north-east of England was next-highest, with 17 per cent of residents eating high-sugar snacks three times a day or more, followed by Scotland (11 per cent) and Wales (10 per cent).
However, despite their reputation for enjoying scones and jam, the south-west of England actually reported the lowest rates of sugar consumption. A third of the population reported that they never consume high-sugar snacks.
Unfortunately, the survey also revealed how low a priority good oral health is for UK residents. Only four per cent of the survey said that the health of their mouth and teeth would change their eating habits, while just two per cent would eat less sugar due to the appearance of their teeth.
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the BDHF, said: “Every time we eat or drink anything sugary, teeth are under attack for up to one hour. If sweetened foods and drinks are constantly being eaten, the mouth is constantly under attack and does not get the chance to recover. It is very important to remember it is not how much sugary food or drink you have, it is how often you have them.”