The Australian Dental Association (ADA) warns that limiting consumption of soft drinks to ‘low-kilojoule’ drinks does not go far enough. Although diet soft drink contain less sugar, these drinks have the same acidity as sweetened drinks, which is a major factor in tooth decay.
Responding to the new Australian Dietary Guidelines released earlier this week by the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, the ADA is concerned Australians will view diet soft drinks as a healthier alternative to the original sweetened drinks.
“While the Guidelines suggest that the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks (soft drinks) is associated with increased risk of weight gain in adults in children, the ADA warns that this only tells half the story,” Chair of the ADA’s Oral Health Committee, Dr Peter Alldritt said.
“Whether or not a soft drink has ‘low sugar’ it still has the same amount of acidity, and therefore still increases the risk of dental caries. Australians should limit their consumption of soft drinks, whether or not they are high or ‘low’ in sugar.”
The ADA recommends all Australians limit their consumption of cordials, fruit drinks, vitamin waters, energy drinks, sports drinks and soft drinks (both full flavour and low sugar varieties). The ADA is also recommending children and teens be encouraged to drink water as much as possible.