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News / August 26, 2015

Coca-Cola and obesity debate neglects oral health

by Guy Hiscott

The debate raging over the impact of Coca-Cola on the obesity crisis overlooks the key point of its effects on our oral heath, dental therapists claim.

The soft drinks giant was slammed this week when it was discovered it had funded scientific research concluding that physical activity is the biggest predictor of childhood obesity around the world.

According to The New York Times, Coca-Cola teamed up with influential scientists to advance studies that point to lack of exercise as the key culprit whilst downplaying the role of a healthy diet.

The study, conducted by Global Energy Balance Network and financed by the soft drinks manufacturer, downplayed the role that dietary habits have in the current obesity epidemic.

Louise Fleming, president of the Irish Dental Hygienists Association (IDHA), believes the study overlooks the negative impact that sugary drinks have on global oral health.

She commented: ‘Scientific evidence has proven that exposure to sugary drinks causes dental decay. No parent wants to see their child have to have a filling. Overlooking the impact sugar has on both oral health and the body can have detrimental effects on our patients.’

Critics are claiming it has no credibility when its funding has been provided by a company that seeks to promote sugary beverages.