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Dental warning over sugar and salt levels

New research has found that children are consuming worryingly high number of biscuits and baked confectionery.

The survey from Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) suggests that parents are unwittingly filling their children with extreme levels of salt and sugar.

Statistics showed that 80 per cent of children under the age of ten were regularly consuming biscuits. That is equivalent to two biscuits every day. This was even greater than the 60 per cent of adults aged 19-64 who were frequent biscuit eaters.

The research highlights that not only are these treats filled with concerning levels of sugar, the percentage of salt poses a threat to overall health and well-being.

A Cadbury’s chocolate digestive biscuit was revealed to have as much, if not more, salt in it as 20g of salted popcorn, one fish finger or a chicken nugget.

CASH warns that eating biscuits can create “dental caries, obesity and diabetes”. High levels of salt also contribute to high blood pressure and strokes.

Almost 500 different supermarket biscuits were tested in the survey, highlighting confusing packaging information.

Senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation Victoria Taylor said: “When even sweet treats are harbouring a salty secret, it’s clear families face a real battle to cut down on their salt intake.”

These results go hand in hand with more recent research from the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe that found 3.9 billion people worldwide to be affected by oral health problems. Hidden substances in everyday foods are allowing many people to eat unhealthily without their knowledge.

Dental professionals should make parents aware of the risks posed by regular biscuits in their children’s diets. Helpful information can be provided by friendly dental posters or dental welcome packs on how to take better care of your teeth.

However, whilst improved dental hygiene can go a long way to restoring healthy teeth, prevention is always the best answer. Biscuit consumption should be kept to a minimum if patients do not want to tempt health conditions.

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