The Oral Health Foundation is calling on restaurants to offer healthy drinks as the default option on children’s menus.
California recently passed a law meaning milk and water will be the default drink sold with kids’ meals in restaurants.
The foundation believes a similar initiative rolled out in the UK could help fight the effects of sugary drinks on children’s oral health.
‘We know that some children are consuming several sugary and fizzy drinks every day,’ Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, says.
‘This is not only contributing to oral diseases, but is at the forefront of general health issues like obesity and diabetes.
‘Around one in four (24.7%) five-year-olds in the UK have tooth decay.
‘The amount of sugar young children are consuming, along with how often, is the root cause of the problem.
‘Any initiative to make water and milk default options for children’s meals must be driven by the restaurant industry.
‘If they fail to show a commitment, then we would be pushing for its introduction by a change in the law.’
Research also shows that kid’s cereals could provide at least 50% of a child’s daily sugar allowance in one 30g bowl.
Figures from Sinks-taps.com found none of the cereals tested were below 25% of a child’s recommended daily allowance (RDA).
Of the cereals tested, Frosties came out top of the sugar pile, containing 71% of a child’s RDA per bowl.
‘This investigation into the sugar in children’s cereals has been truly worrying,’ Richard Broadbent, managing director of Sinks-taps.com, said.
‘We hope this information will help parents make more informed decisions on breakfast foods for their kids.
‘It is especially concerning how, even with the recommended serving size, there is a large percentage of a child’s daily allowance of sugar used up before school.’
You may also be interested in: