NCDS President Hopes to Limit Pouring Contracts

Apr 04, 2001, 01:00 ET from N.C. Dental Society

    RALEIGH, N.C., April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Many dentists from across North
 Carolina agree: Schools are no place for soft drinks.
     N.C. Dental Society President Dr. Bernard A. Brown said today he hopes
 parents, citizens and voters will carefully weigh the consequences of
 educational systems and beverage companies agreeing to place soft drink
 vending machines in school hallways.
     In a speech to the N.C. Women's Caucus, Brown also pointed out that dental
 decay now ranks as the single most pervasive health problem among the state's
 school children.
     "We're very alarmed about soft drink 'pouring contracts,' which allow
 these companies to advertise and serve their products to our children in
 school," Brown said.  "The Dental Society believes the contracts have no place
 in our schools, and that they are potentially harmful to our children."
     If allowed to proceed, Brown says, agreements between schools and soda
 makers will only exacerbate the problem of youth soft drink consumption, which
 has tripled since the mid-1970s.
     That problem often strikes well before the teen years.  A recent study
 from the American Dental Association (ADA) revealed that 12% of children ages
 2 through 5 drink an average of nine fluid ounces of carbonated beverages
 daily.
     Those trends may have already contributed to an increase of dental disease
 in North Carolina -- 44% of young people experience varying levels of tooth
 decay.  In fact, dental disease is four times more prevalent than asthma, five
 times more common than hay fever and 10 times more likely to occur than
 chronic bronchitis.
     In his appearance before the group made up of North Carolina legislators,
 Brown said, "We are aware that there is a possible causal link between soft
 drinks and tooth decay and other health problems."
     He explained, "Soft drinks contain large amounts of refined sugars, which
 reacts with bacteria in the mouth to form an acidic solution that readily
 dissolves tooth enamel.  Exposing children to these ingredients will only
 serve to increase the incidence of dental disease."
     Brown continued, "Furthermore, consuming more than the recommended daily
 allowance of carbonated drinks, which contain sugar, caffeine and other
 additives, can cause hyperactivity, loss of focus, obesity and other
 problems."
     Brown and the NCDS aren't the only dental interests opposing pouring
 contracts.  The ADA's House of Delegates overwhelmingly passed a resolution
 this past October opposing school system contracts with beverage companies.
     Also last fall, dentists in Michigan appealed to the state government to
 revoke existing pouring contracts and discourage new ones.  Last year, a Wake
 County middle school principal refused to allow soda vending machines on
 school grounds, and was quoted as saying, "Adolescents and caffeine don't
 mix."
     School systems initially entered into these pouring contracts as a way to
 raise money for cash-strapped budgets.  Wake County's deal with Pepsi Cola,
 for example, could net $6.3 million over the next five years.
     But Brown says the negatives could outweigh the positives -- both
 economically and medically.  "These contracts might be able to bail our
 schools out of some tight spots," he said.  "But at what cost?"
     Brown expounded, "What is the price of treating the additional oral and
 other health problems excessive soft drink consumption can cause?  Who's going
 to pay for that?  It is our duty to help educate others on this issue and its
 potentially negative effects on our children's health."
     For additional information, contact the North Carolina Dental Society at
 (919) 677-1396 or Dr. Brown at (919) 467-1966.
 
 

SOURCE N.C. Dental Society
    RALEIGH, N.C., April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Many dentists from across North
 Carolina agree: Schools are no place for soft drinks.
     N.C. Dental Society President Dr. Bernard A. Brown said today he hopes
 parents, citizens and voters will carefully weigh the consequences of
 educational systems and beverage companies agreeing to place soft drink
 vending machines in school hallways.
     In a speech to the N.C. Women's Caucus, Brown also pointed out that dental
 decay now ranks as the single most pervasive health problem among the state's
 school children.
     "We're very alarmed about soft drink 'pouring contracts,' which allow
 these companies to advertise and serve their products to our children in
 school," Brown said.  "The Dental Society believes the contracts have no place
 in our schools, and that they are potentially harmful to our children."
     If allowed to proceed, Brown says, agreements between schools and soda
 makers will only exacerbate the problem of youth soft drink consumption, which
 has tripled since the mid-1970s.
     That problem often strikes well before the teen years.  A recent study
 from the American Dental Association (ADA) revealed that 12% of children ages
 2 through 5 drink an average of nine fluid ounces of carbonated beverages
 daily.
     Those trends may have already contributed to an increase of dental disease
 in North Carolina -- 44% of young people experience varying levels of tooth
 decay.  In fact, dental disease is four times more prevalent than asthma, five
 times more common than hay fever and 10 times more likely to occur than
 chronic bronchitis.
     In his appearance before the group made up of North Carolina legislators,
 Brown said, "We are aware that there is a possible causal link between soft
 drinks and tooth decay and other health problems."
     He explained, "Soft drinks contain large amounts of refined sugars, which
 reacts with bacteria in the mouth to form an acidic solution that readily
 dissolves tooth enamel.  Exposing children to these ingredients will only
 serve to increase the incidence of dental disease."
     Brown continued, "Furthermore, consuming more than the recommended daily
 allowance of carbonated drinks, which contain sugar, caffeine and other
 additives, can cause hyperactivity, loss of focus, obesity and other
 problems."
     Brown and the NCDS aren't the only dental interests opposing pouring
 contracts.  The ADA's House of Delegates overwhelmingly passed a resolution
 this past October opposing school system contracts with beverage companies.
     Also last fall, dentists in Michigan appealed to the state government to
 revoke existing pouring contracts and discourage new ones.  Last year, a Wake
 County middle school principal refused to allow soda vending machines on
 school grounds, and was quoted as saying, "Adolescents and caffeine don't
 mix."
     School systems initially entered into these pouring contracts as a way to
 raise money for cash-strapped budgets.  Wake County's deal with Pepsi Cola,
 for example, could net $6.3 million over the next five years.
     But Brown says the negatives could outweigh the positives -- both
 economically and medically.  "These contracts might be able to bail our
 schools out of some tight spots," he said.  "But at what cost?"
     Brown expounded, "What is the price of treating the additional oral and
 other health problems excessive soft drink consumption can cause?  Who's going
 to pay for that?  It is our duty to help educate others on this issue and its
 potentially negative effects on our children's health."
     For additional information, contact the North Carolina Dental Society at
 (919) 677-1396 or Dr. Brown at (919) 467-1966.
 
 SOURCE  N.C. Dental Society