Sir, With reference to your report “ UK gender divide starts early” (February 17) on child spending: figures from the Office for National Statistics have highlighted that children as young as seven years old are spending their pocket money more on soft drinks than on toys and hobbies.
The evidence clearly links these drinks to tooth decay, diabetes and childhood obesity, not to mention the ongoing socio-economic impact on our society. So by knowingly giving a young child repeated cans of fizzy drinks, I believe this is actually a child safeguarding issue, bordering on neglect.
The Dental Wellness Trust wants to see an age restriction for children under 12 years old from buying fizzy drinks, and an all-out ban on children under the age of six years old from consuming them. As dentists, we sadly have to extract teeth from children as young as three due to their consumption of fizzy drinks. This trend continues right up until teenage years and there is no improvement in sight. There is no escaping the exposure to these drinks.
Morally, how can we allow this to continue without taking a firmer stance to protect the health of future generations? I believe our proposed ban would have a dramatic impact on their consumption, but more importantly on the overall health of the child.
Dr Linda Greenwall
Dental Wellness Trust,
London NW3, UK
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