Study Reports Association Between “New Generation” SSBs and Dental Disease
University of Sydney researchers have apparently found an association between adolescents’ consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and oral health or obesity. Louise Hardy, et al., “Association between adolescents’ consumption of total and different types of sugar-sweetened beverages with oral health impacts and weight status,” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, November 22, 2017. The authors noted a higher association between dental disease and “new generation” SSBs—diet soft drinks, sports drinks and flavored water—than the association found with other SSBs.
The study reported that while daily consumption of SSBs is prevalent among adolescents—90 percent reported drinking at least one cup per day—SSB intake was “more consistently associated” with oral health problems than extra weight or obesity. More than 3,500 youths aged 10-16 participated in the study, which surveyed SSB intake, height and weight measurements, physical activity, dental health and demographic information. Although the study reported that clinical dental examinations were not feasible, the oral health questions were “a validated measure of the social impacts of oral health issues used in other dental surveys, and they correlate strongly with the presence of dental caries (the main oral disease affecting adolescents).”