Sugars consumption and tooth decay linked in new Canadian food guide

11 February 2019

For the first time in its history, Health Canada’s Dietary Guidelines for Health Professionals and Policy Makers specifically cites the link between sugars, tooth decay and overall health. 

The guidelines aim to “promote healthy eating and overall nutritional well-being" and take an expansive approach, going beyond simply dietary guidelines on health eating to encompass the social and environmental factors that determine what people choose to eat and drink. 

This now includes specific mention of how the consumption of free sugars, which are those added into food or drinks or already-present in honey, syrups and fruit juices, plays a role in tooth decay. 

It also highlights, notes FDI’s article on the guidelines, “the relationship between oral diseases and other non-communicable diseases, reinforcing the connection between oral health and overall health.” 

"Oral diseases, such as dental decay, share common nutrition-related risk factors with some of the leading chronic diseases in Canada such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease." (Dietary Guidelines for Health Professionals and Policy Makers) 

It reinforces the message contained in Australia’s Oral Health Tracker, which highlights the intrinsic link between oral health and preventable chronic diseases such as diabetes, conditions and their risk factors.   

Aligning with the World Health Organisation Action Plan, which aims to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases by 2025, the Tracker provides a set of targets and indicators to chart progress in addressing the state of Australia’s oral health with the aim of preventing and better managing the resultant chronic diseases over time.