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Consensus Statement on Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks are no longer a looming public health crisis, but a very real one. By working together, and acting now, we can prevent not only oral health damage, but obesity - a leading risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

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Eliza McCartney takes Switch to Water challenge to new heights

25 October 2017

Media release

Eliza McCartney takes Switch to Water challenge to new heights

New Zealand pole vault athlete and Olympian Eliza McCartney is the new face of the Switch to Water challenge.

As part of National Oral Health Day, 3 November 2017, the New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) encourages Kiwis to swap sugary drinks for water for 30 days this November.

New Zealand adults and children are the third most overweight and obese among OECD countries. Dental treatments were the second biggest cause of hospital admissions last year for children. More than 6600 children under 12 years ended up in hospital to have one or more rotten teeth pulled under general anaesthetic.

Choosing water is an easy solution to a big problem. Eliza believes that drinking water is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and she jumped at the chance to be part of the campaign.

“Being an athlete, it is so important that I have water on hand for when I'm thirsty. Choosing water is a great first step towards a healthier diet, simply by cutting out sugary drinks that are highly acidic and full of calories,” says Eliza

Aside from featuring in the campaign poster, Eliza is also promoting the Switch to Water challenge in an online video.

NZDA President, Dr Bill O’Connor says dentists are committed to prevent thousands of kiwis suffering from the effects of sugary drinks.  

“Sports drinks, fizzy drinks and even the ‘diet’ versions pose a major risk to dental health. They contribute to tooth decay that requires expensive fillings or creates gaps in our mouth where healthy teeth should be.”

Dr O’Connor says the problem doesn’t stop there, as there are other issues including drink acidity and extra kilojoules.

“We’re also pushing the message that these drinks are highly acidic – each sip can erode or eat away teeth - not to mention that switching to water will reduce unnecessary energy consumption. We encourage all kiwis to take this challenge and kick start a healthy summer.”


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