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New Rules Helping Children to Stay Healthy


Did you know that on 1st July 2017 new advertising rules were introduced to help your children stay healthy? The new ban on junk food advertising aimed at children is a huge step forward in the battle to keep your children healthy. With the summer holidays about to start, the timing couldn’t be better. So what’s changed and why? Let’s take a look.

A helping hand for parents

For parents, there is always a constant battle between encouraging your children to make the right choices and do what is good for them and allowing them the freedom to explore new things and make their own decisions. One of the biggest challenges for parents today is undoubtedly the influence of advertising.

This has been recognised by the UK’s Committee of Advertising Practice, which have now introduced new rules that mean advertisers can no longer promote high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) food or drink products in traditional media, online media and other sites whose audience is predominantly children (defined as over 25% of the audience).

It is clear why such action is necessary. A staggering 30% of British 15-year-olds are now classed as ‘extreme internet users’, spending at least six hours a day online. That’s outside of school holidays. With spending time online, young people are subject to vast amounts of advertising and glorification of products. New measures to tackle this can only be a positive thing.

To help support the introduction of the new rules, food and farming charity Sustain have launched  ‘Operation Eagle Eye’ a campaign, run in conjunction with their Children’s Food Campaign (CFC). The aim is to encourage the public to get involved and submit complaints where appropriate.

The ban does not yet apply to television advertising. The Oral Health Foundation, an independent not-for-profit charity dedicated to improving oral health and wellbeing around the world, is continuing to campaign and is hoping to see similar changes brought to other platforms, including TV, that will not be affected by these new regulations.

A step in the right direction

The new rules are the first step in attempts to avert what some experts fear is becoming a healthcare crisis.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, a charity working to improve oral health, says “In the last two years alone, more than 34,000 rotten teeth have been removed from young children under general anaesthetic in the UK, this is absolutely scandalous, particularly given that this is entirely avoidable.”

Although procedures are generally painless, they can nonetheless cause a great deal of unnecessary stress for both children and parents that is easily avoided with a healthy approach to diet and lifestyle.

The latest action helps dentists who have been working hard over recent decades to promote a positive message about the benefits of good oral hygiene and the importance of limiting sugar intake.

It is important, however, to remember that avoiding sugary snacks is just one part of a good oral hygiene regime for your family. Brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and visiting the dentist regularly are also key to keeping your teeth healthy.

Here at Wickersley Dental Practice in Rotherham, we put the health of you and your family at the heart of everything we do. A small, friendly practice, we are dedicated to offering our patients high quality preventative dentistry in a relaxed atmosphere. To book an appointment now or enquire about becoming a member, call us on 01709 543033 or click here to contact us online.

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