Friday, September 20, 2013

Dentists say too much soda in Appalachia is akin to meth, leading to rotten teeth

Some dentists are comparing the widespread drinking of soda in Appalachia as having the same harming affect on teeth as using meth, New York NOW reports. "Public health advocates say soft drinks are driving the region's alarmingly high incidence of eroded brown teeth — a phenomenon dubbed 'Mountain Dew mouth,' after the region's favorite drink. They want to tackle the problem with policies, including restricting soda purchases with food stamps."
Diane Sawyer dubbed the term Mountain Dew Mouth in 2009 during an ABC documentary entitled “A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains." The issue has been reported on this blog several times. (New York NOW photo)

"The beverage industry has repeatedly challenged claims that its products are destroying teeth. But dentists beg to differ.," New York NOW writes. "Dentists have also found that the effects of soda on teeth are strikingly similar to the effects of methamphetamine or crack on teeth. Drinking more than a soda a day raises the risk that acids found in many soft and energy drinks will eat away at your tooth enamel and its pearly white color."

Dana Singer, a research analyst at the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department in Parkersburg, W.Va., told New York NOW that about 26 percent of preschoolers in Appalachia have tooth decay and 15 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds have had a tooth extracted because of decay or erosion. About 67 percent of West Virginians age 65 or older have lost six or more teeth owing to tooth decay or gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Singer says one of the best opportunities to curb the problem is targeting programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which allows recipients to buy soda," New York NOW writes. "According to a 2012 study by Yale's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, the federal government is spending $1.7 billion to $2.1 billion on soda purchases through SNAP. Under current guidelines, any kind of soda of any size can be purchased with a SNAP card — even Mountain Dew, which has 170 calories in a single 12-ounce can." (Read more)

1 comment:

Caroline said...

I love this blog, I have no particular comment on this story but just wanted to give you guys a shout-out for all your work!