Select Committee on Scottish Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum from the Chief Dental Officer, Health Department

  Soft drinks are a major issue for oral health. The average sugar content of the canned cola-type drinks varies from six to eight teaspoons of sugar. In addition they offer a highly acidic drink due to the carbonation process. The resultant drink is perfectly designed to either rot or erode teeth.

  In addition we are aware of a range of constituents which are associated with these drinks or which contribute to the drinks becoming addictive. Additional material such as caffeine are especially used to encourage regular use of these products. These drinks now constitute one of the main sources of drinks for children and are being used by younger and younger children, as young as one to two years of age.

  The main issues are, their high sugar content, their acidic content, their regular use and their advertisement to children in schools and public places ie. they are easily available through machines which are bright and attractive with a total lack of any warning about damage to health. I use the word "health" rather than "teeth" because I consider that teeth are part of your body and therefore we should be talking about health being damaged and not specifically teeth.

Chief Dental Officer

January 2001

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