All sugary drinks - including energy drinks - should be banned in schools to tackle tooth decay which affects one in four children starting school, leading dentists have said.
While crisps, confectionery and fizzy drinks have already been banned from council-run schools, energy drinks, which are often very high in sugar, have only been banned at two schools in the north of England, the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) said, adding that their example should be taken up by the Government.
The move comes amid growing pressure for action on high levels of sugar in our diet, which doctors say is a leading cause of obesity, but provides next to no nutritional value.
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the BDHF said that an increase in consumption of sugary drinks was also one of the leading causes of dental decay, particularly in children.
“It is very refreshing to see these schools taking their own initiative and banning sugary drinks…” he said. “Proposals such as the introduction of a duty on sugary drinks and brands reducing the amount of sugar in their soft drinks have both been mooted in the last 12 months. If we can build on these foundations, there will be an inevitable reduction in consumption and benefits for both general and dental health.”
The Department for Education is currently consulting on a “revised school food standards to make sure children are always served healthy, nutritional meals at school,” a spokesperson said.