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Sugary drinks in sport: highlighting the issue of poverty and poor oral health

Blog Author Christie Owen

Blog Date 15/11/2017

​BDA Wales has been talking to the Cardiff City Football Community Foundation to raise awareness of the impact of sugary drinks and food on oral health. This is often a problem amongst the more deprived communities in South Wales and we wanted to see where we could work with the Foundation to help highlight this issue.

The Cardiff City Football Club Foundation an independent charity that works in partnership with Cardiff City Football Club. They use the power of sport and education to change lives and inspire more people to become active, healthy, and included, throughout South Wales. 

We were initially invited to attend a health focus day with Cardiff City Football Club Foundation, to learn about the work they do and how they use their programmes to improve people's health.  

The Foundation's work primarily focused on the most deprived people and children in South Wales, with a focus on reaching people who would not have access to health advice in their day to day lives. 

Children's oral health in Wales is particularly shocking: dental decay is present in 35 per cent of five- year olds. And 22 per cent of Welsh children aged between five and fifteen show severe or extensive decay – 10 per cent more than English children in that same age bracket, and we've called on Government to step up and make some real improvements.

The Cardiff City FC Foundation are running programmes to engage older people with dementia, with groups such as Sporting Memories, and they work to involve 45s, with walking football activities and work with children from deprived areas, offering clubs and activities, with an emphasis on providing food, ensuring children do not go hungry, especially during the school holidays.

The Foundation's Programmes Director, Simon Stephens, recently attended a joint meeting of the BDA Welsh Council and Welsh General Dental Practice Committee to talk about the Foundation's work and how the Foundation and the BDA might be able to work collaboratively. 


The issue of sports and energy drinks, and their impact on oral health, were highlighted and the Foundation said it only allows water in its sessions, as well as alerting participants about the impact of these drinks on teeth. 

I also attended the attended the Foundation's most recent summer camp, and gave a talk on the impact of sugary drinks on children's oral health. 

We are committed to highlighting the impact of sugar on oral health and will continue to work with the Foundation on projects, as well as working with other stakeholders and lobbying Government. 

We'd love to hear about other projects like this one, if you know of any, please get in touch.

Christie Owen

BDA Policy and Committee Officer

 

Sugar and children’s oral health

We have been leading on calls for radical action to lower the nation’s sugar intake, with measures ranging from lowering the recommended daily allowance, through to action on marketing, labelling and sales taxes. Have a look at our top tips for your patients.