Sugar-loaded messages in preteen magazines
Fairchild, Ruth M.
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There is evidence that young people are consuming nutritionally poor diets, predisposing them to obesity and other health related problems like dental caries.1,2,3 Currently, sugar consumption is high on the public health agenda both globally and nationally. At present, UK dietary reference values state that free sugars (defined as sugars added to foods, for example, sucrose, glucose and fructose and sugars naturally present in fruit juices, such as glucose and fructose4) should provide no more than 10% of the total energy intake for children and adults who do not consume alcohol (11% for those who do).5 However, there are consultation guidelines produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) which recommend reducing free sugars to 5% of total energy.4,6 Several large scale systematic reviews commissioned by the WHO and the UK Food Standards Agency have found that food and drink promotion in magazines and on television has a profound effect on children's food preferences, purchase behaviour and consumption.7,8,9 Also, the evidence confirms that the majority of food advertisements within the media represent energy dense, high fat-salt and sugar (HFSS) foods.7 From an oral health standpoint the frequent consumption of high sugar foods (in particular free sugars) predisposes to the development of dental caries.2,10,11 Additionally dental erosion is becoming more prevalent with the increasing popularity of acidic ‘fizzy’ sweets and carbonated drinks12,13 and the well documented link between increased consumption of foods with low pH and erosive tooth wear.14
Chapman, K. J., Fairchild, R. M., & Morgan, M. Z. (2014) 'Sugar-loaded messages in preteen magazines', BDJ Team, 1
This article was published in BDJ Team on 19 December 2014 (online), available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/bdjteam.2014.132
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